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    Mark Packer, MD: Sitting on the DOCK of the bay

    Editor’s Note: Welcome to “Eye Catching: Let's Chat,” a blog series featuring contributions from members of the ophthalmic community. These blogs are an opportunity for ophthalmic bloggers to engage with readers with about a topic that is top of mind, whether it is practice management, experiences with patients, the industry, medicine in general, or healthcare reform. The series continues with this blog by Mark Packer, MD, FACS, CPI. The views expressed in these blogs are those of their respective contributors and do not represent the views of Ophthalmology Times or UBM Medica.



    The DOCK, of course, is the Demonstration of Ophthalmic Cognitive Knowledge—the final step for me in completing my second round of Maintenance of Certification requirements for the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO).

    Just as Otis Redding found sitting by the bay a time for reflection on past accomplishments and future prospects (“I left my home in Georgia / Headed for the Frisco Bay / Cuz I’ve had nothing to live for / And look like nothing’s gonna come my way”),[1] I, too, found that taking this exam initiated a period of contemplation regarding where I’ve been and where I’m going.

    One reason for this effect is that reading clinical vignettes during the exam took me back to patient encounters from my residency years at Boston University and my early years of practice in Eastern North Carolina, long before I focused on refractive cataract surgery in Eugene, OR. I recalled the midnight traumas at Boston City Hospital, neurological cases from the consult service, and various pediatric emergencies.   

    Taking the exam also caused me to reflect on my service from 2003 to 2006 as a member of American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Ophthalmic Knowledge Base Panel for Cataract and Anterior Segment (which later became known as the Practicing Ophthalmologists’ Curriculum Panel). We were charged with developing a textbook in outline form that would become the basis for examination questions to be developed by the ABO.

    In fact, I recognized one of my own clinical images on the DOCK!

    I remembered sitting with colleagues and judging what information about cataract surgery every board-certified ophthalmologist should know. Ten years ago, of course, David Chang’s initial paper on Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome had just been published![2]

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