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    The importance of being honest

    Ophthalmologists need to be true both to themselves and to patients


    Case 2

    Let’s say you are a refractive, private healthcare-oriented surgeon, offering and promoting election surgery. It could also be that you see yourself as a passionate early adopter of new technology. However, a problem you face is that it is not easy to position yourself at the forefront of technological innovation without huge financial resources or high-volume surgery.

    In this case, the temptation could be that you enlarge the indications, neglect contraindications, or minimise side effects in order to enrol more patients. Or you might dive into new surgery without thorough training or despite knowing that your practice lacks appropriate diagnostic equipment.

    As with the conservative type, you must first accept the truth to yourself, before revealing the situation to your patient. More often than you think, to negate a procedure to a non-eligible patient will bring more patients to your slit lamp. To admit that you do not have enough experience with a particular new procedure yet you think it would be beneficial for the patient will put you in a more positive light with your patient and keep your heart aligned with your mind.

    After all, a lie to a patient is always a lie to yourself. At the end of the day, quality, not volume, of your job will define you to your community and, more importantly, to yourself. 

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