“Fight the need to judge. Become a celebrator rather than a critic.”

 

TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about critics. As we all know, everyone is a critic! Everyone has opinions and biases that they feel the need to impart on others. The need to judge has two facets. On the one hand, you need to judge effectively to survive the physicality of life. You need to judge which food to eat and avoid the rotten fruit. You need to judge whether to drive given the forecast for a snowstorm. You need to judge the offers, opportunities, and obligations present in your life.

However, on the other hand, there is a point when the need to judge degrades our relationships and experiences. Constantly criticizing the possible or perceived negative aspects of our station causes us to lose the ability to fully partake in it. In this stressful state, we become defensive and detached. It is difficult to acknowledge that by criticizing, we are retracting from meaningful communication. By judging, we are choosing to turn away from the rapport and recognition that may help us grow and develop.

“By judging, we are choosing to turn away from the rapport and recognition that may help us grow and develop.”

So, what do you do? How do you become a celebrator rather than a critic? There are two strategies to embrace your inner celebrator. First, accept that “Time is the fairest and toughest judge” (Edgar Quinet). You don’t need to judge anyone. You don’t need to criticize every interaction. Time will hand down its judgment on all. You can free yourself from this need to judge by seeing yourself as an insignificant microcosm on time’s rather lengthy record. This liberating action helps you detach from negative encounters without becoming consumed by them.

“You don’t need to judge anyone. You don’t need to criticize every interaction. Time will hand down its judgment on all.”

Second, celebrate with gratitude! Whether it be relationships or duties, find some aspect to be grateful for. Then celebrate it! Although simple, this is not intuitive, because of our overwhelming need to find negative attributes to correct. Next time you want to judge someone or something, try this. Find some aspect that you are grateful for and celebrate it. Before you know it, instead of criticizing you will be celebrating even losses and hardship.

“Rather than criticizing, find some aspect that you are grateful for and celebrate it!”

 

MEDICINE & MACULA: Check out our latest publication, Deer Tick Masquerading as Pigmented Conjunctival Lesion (Robin K Kuriakose, Lorna W Grant, Eric K Chin & David RP Almeida) published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports.

In it, we report a unique case of tick penetration of a black-legged deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) into the conjunctiva. Despite the low risk for Lyme disease, doxycycline was prescribed for prophylaxis. In any case of suspected tick penetration to the ocular surface, immediate ophthalmologic consultation and prompt removal as well as attention paid to the Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines regarding prophylaxis.

You can find the study here.

 

GRATIS: “Let you look sometimes for the goodness in me, and judge me not.” -Arthur Miller

 

My best to you,

David Almeida

david@davidalmeidamd.com

Read more

“Passion is about living days immersed in the strength of a barely controllable emotion.”

 

TASK AT HAND: First, I want to say thanks to everyone for their interest and support in my new book, Decision Diagnosis: Seven Antidotes to Decision Procrastination. As I mentioned last week, I am going to do one more excerpt from the book here on today’s Sunday Surgical Scrub.

As part of my initial launch, I have reduced the price to 99 cents for one more week. If you feel inclined, kindly take a moment to leave a review. You can find it on Amazon here. If you are having any trouble with the link, you can copy and paste this address into your web browser: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NCRPPVL

 

Here is a portion from Chapter 6: Alleviating Factors, on the concept of passion in decision-making, personal relationships, and how to regularly reacquaint yourself with passion in your life. If there is one part of the book that feeds all others, yet stands alone, it is the one that follows.

 

Passion
To practice with passion, we need to define the concept of passion. We need to identify why passion is so important to successful strategic development. Passion is about living days immersed in the strength of a barely controllable emotion. Passion, as a source of energy, can be oppressed by the many tasks and distractions that endlessly intrude into our lives. However, I have found that reacquainting yourself with your passion is a revitalizing elixir of energy, focus, and determination that you can’t neglect.

“Passion, as a source of energy, can be oppressed by the many tasks and distractions that endlessly intrude into our lives.”

Consequently, I have found three strategies to ensure that passion is a tenet not lost and neglected. Using these three strategies, you can routinely and commonly implement your passion into your decision-making.

Passion and decision-making. When you are formulating decisions and employing strategies in your business or professional life, don’t neglect to acquaint yourself with your drives and desires. Some aspects are best decided dispassionately, but core fundamentals require a degree of enthusiasm, self-expression, and identity to fulfill the full potential of the decision in question. Many times, when you have options without major distinctions, choosing the one best aligned with your passion will provide you opportunities you did not foresee.

“A personal relationship without some element of passion is a mere acquaintance.”

Passion in your personal relationships. A personal relationship without some element of passion is a mere acquaintance. Strive to consistently surround yourself with people who stroke the fires of vitality: those who challenge you, those who ask you to grow, and those who allow you to change. Finding passion in your personal relationships will allow you to achieve better decisions, implement better strategies, and be more content in the relationships you have and care for.

Passion in your daily life. Finally, regardless of your professional and personal endeavors, do something you are passionate about each day. There is no need for it to be for more than a few minutes, but stay connected to that drive daily. Don’t lose this connection because it is a defining part of who you are.

The aim is that when you look back on your life, you can recall a life lived with passion—days filled with this barely controllable emotion that allows you to create and touch the lives of others in fantastical and wonderful ways.

 

GRATIS: “Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” -Mark Twain

 

My best to you,

David Almeida

david@davidalmeidamd.com

Read more

“What makes a strategy successful?

If it works, it’s successful!”

 

TASK AT HAND: This week, as you have probably noticed, I’m going off script here on the Sunday Surgical Scrub. Earlier this week, I published my first book entitled, Decision Diagnosis: Seven Antidotes to Decision Procrastination.

 

As part of the initial launch, I have reduced the price to 99 cents for a limited time. In return for this reduced price, I ask that, if you choose to download the book, you kindly take a moment to leave a review. My book will only be at this reduced price for the next two weeks and you can find it on Amazon here.
If you are having any trouble with the link above, you can copy and paste this link into your web browser: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NCRPPVL

 

With sincere thanks for your interest and support, I leave you here with the Introduction:

Are you struggling with decision-making? Are you having difficulty with the efficient application of strategies, whether in life or work? Is your life negatively affected by feelings of mediocrity, a sense of being stuck or glued to a lack of progress, or a lack of ability to move to the next phase in life?

If you are overwhelmed with decisions or struggling to find the best way to succeed and move forward, there is a solution.

“You can’t make successful decisions if you don’t know what those decisions are asking of you.”

You can’t make successful decisions if you don’t know what those decisions are asking of you. But when you uncover all the parts you need to consider, you can make fruitful and focused decisions. In this book, via the brokering of economics theories, the scientific method, and a surgical approach to medical problems, you will find innovative methods to diagnosing decisions and tools for improving your clarity in personal and professional decision-making.

My years as a physician and surgeon have given me insight into the diagnosis of complex diseases. I have learned that they can appear in many ways. Sometimes, a patient’s disease presents itself in a textbook way, making the diagnosis and treatment straightforward. However, most of the time, diseases present in convoluted manners, leaving doctors confused, with the possibility of complications with catastrophic implications.

Similarly, one day, life may flow predictably and idly, and the other, it may thrust you into violent storms that require sharp strategy, thoughtful decision-making, and excellent execution. So why not equip yourself to react and apply the correct techniques and maneuvers to prevent this pathology from taking a permanent hold?

Physicians and surgeons routinely go through seven attributes of a medical problem to tease out the pertinent positives and negatives from a patient, so as to arrive at the right diagnosis and manage the patient with the correct treatment. Here I have hybridized this medical technique normally used for complex diagnoses with my work in research and business leadership to create seven antidotes to decision procrastination—a framework, entitled Decision Diagnosis, which we can apply to decision-making.

I believe that when you apply this framework, it will provide useful insights. Most importantly of all, it will help you achieve a greater understanding, clarity, and focus in your strategy and decision-making. Whether it is for personal or professional decisions, I believe this construct will help you succeed and improve your strategic and executive function.

The seven antidotes are all about uncovering the relevant factors of your decisions so that you can be successful in your decision-making process. There are seven characteristics that you need to evaluate and judge to enhance your ability to be efficient and successful in decision-making: character, setting, timing, quality, quantity, aggravating factors, and alleviating factors.

Over the next chapters, I will show you how to apply this framework effectively, and I will break down complex decisions to give you the best possible understanding as you navigate through the difficult storms of life.

 

GRATIS: I’ll post one more portion of the book here next week as part of the initial launch.

 

My best to you,

David Almeida

david@davidalmeidamd.com

Read more

“Allow yourself to change.

Allow yourself to change your mind.

At the dawn of a new year, you don’t have to be the same, so allow yourself to change.”

 

TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about agents of change. Specifically, how you can be your own agent of change. Today, New Year’s Day 2017, many will awaken with resolutions and recipes to improve during the year ahead. However, from the best available evidence, only about 8% of people are successful at achieving their new year’s resolution and implementing some sort of meaningful change in their life. That is less than 1 in 10.

I find this failure rate surprising because we have an incredible ability to process and understand information. The bottleneck is in its implementation and persistent application. So, here are three quick tips to facilitate your ability to be an agent of change.

1. Start Small. Don’t attempt to change a multitude of behaviors overnight. Don’t set a plan that is beyond your reach. I see this commonly done. It is a predictable form of self-sabotage. This causes you to start with unrealistic plans, quickly fail, and then you are back to old stagnant ways. Instead, start small, set mini-goals, achieve, and build momentum.

2. Be Persistent. Stick to that which you want to change. In this regard, persistence and perseverance are congruent to progress and the powers of invention. Aim for a minimum of 80% adherence to the change you want to see. Let’s take learning a new language as an arbitrary example. Practice 4 days a week (80% of a 5-day work week) and go from there.

3. Be Kind. Be kind and allow yourself to change. This is the whole barrier. This is the singular obstacle in our puzzle. When I allow myself to change, I am forced to adapt in a new manner to the circumstances that exist. When you are kind to yourself, you accept that behaviors are not a binary process of pass/fail or yes/no but rather processes of evolution.

 

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

-Charles Darwin

 

So, as you step into the hours of a new year, as the days click by on the 2017 odometer, allow yourself to change constantly. In the months that lie ahead, procure problems and opportunities in some new manner so that, when you look back this time next year, you see yourself as an agent of change.

 

MEDICINE & MACULA: Let’s start off the year with a wonderful image of a hemispheric retinal arteriovenous anastomoses from a patient with Wyburn-Mason Syndrome.

We published this image back in November 2015 entitled, Hemispheric Retinal Arteriovenous Anastomoses (Eric K Chin, D Brice Critser &  David RP Almeida) in JAMA Ophthalmology (2015;133(11):e151687. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2015.1687).

You can find the study here.

 

GRATIS: “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” -Oprah Winfrey

 

Happy New Year!

David Almeida

david@davidalmeidamd.com

Read more

sss-2016yir

“Ring out the false, ring in the true.” -Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

TASK AT HAND: This week I’m looking back on 2016 and trying to learn from error and success alike. It has been an incredible year: davidalmeidamd.com was launched and the Sunday Surgical Scrub, an idea that has existed for quite some time, was officially started. Above all else, thank you for your support and interest in everything that we do on the medical, research, speaking and consulting fronts.

Today I will look back on the Sunday Surgical Scrub and review some highlights of 2016 as we transition to 2017. Here are 7 highlights from 2016.

1. Strategy: It Has To Work! (From the 22 May 2016 Scrub, you can find the original post here.What makes a strategy successful? If it works, it’s successful! Ultimately, your strategy must work and you must achieve your goals; otherwise, seriously consider switching strategies. The core of any successful strategy is the ability to plan and execute. I plan like an economist, but execute like a surgeon. In planning, you should employ some sort of analysis but then bring your decision out of your personal vacuum and into context and consequence. Then, when all planning is done, go out and execute it.

2. Minimize Cognitive Burden (From the 12 June 2016 blog, you can find the original post here.) Minimize your cognitive burden – both the extrinsic inconsequential happenings and the intrinsic personal trappings – so that in clarity you can fulfill your potential. Cognitive load refers to the total amount of mental effort being used in the working memory. Cognitive burden can be thought of as an excess load on our mental effort. Minimize undue burden due to meaningless or inconsequential items.

3. Passion Is Essential (From the 24 July 2016 post, you can find the original post here.) Living with passion is to live days immersed in the strength of barely controllable emotion. Passion, as a source of energy, can be oppressed by the many tasks and distractions endlessly intruding into our lives. However, being reacquainted with your passion is a revitalizing elixir of energy, focus and determination that cannot be neglected. When you look back – which we are doing here in this year in review – you must recall a life lived with passion! Days filled with this barely controllable emotion that allows you to create and touch the lives of others in fantastical and wonderful ways. Find passion and “Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry” (Mark Twain).

4. Be Careful of The Company You Keep (From 28 Aug 2016, you can find the original post here.) “If you’re the smartest one in the room, you’re in the wrong room” (Richard Tirendi). Since you are a running average of the people you most interact with, you need to be cognizant of who these people and groups are. Seek to be influenced by the best, and you will find yourself in good company.

5. Eliminated Fear of Failure (From 18 Sept 2016, original post here.If you’re not failing often, you’re not trying hard enough. 2016 was the year we let go of the fear of failure. Failure – and how we cope with its force – is of crucial importance to our character development.

6. Choose Fulfillment Over Achievement (From 23 Oct 2016, original post here.) Achievement is commonly confused for fulfillment. In the culture of 80-plus hour work weeks, dog-eat-dog cynicism, and the perpetual climb of the job ladder, one can easily place achievement as the ultimate external benchmark of success. This strategy will eventual burn out. Instead, the focus should be on the internal barometer of fulfillment, to guide our plans.

7. Beat Your Own Drum (Originally posted 27 Nov 2016, you can find the original blog here.) Live dangerously. Embrace pain and take risk. Desire to beat your own drum. Embrace pain and risk for it is in these moments that we carve out character and define development.

GRATIS: “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better person.” -Benjamin Franklin

 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and my best to you always,

David Almeida

david@davidalmeidamd.com

Read more

sss-unexpected-opportunities

“Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.” -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

 

TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about opportunities and how to catch unexpected prospects. I believe that unexpected opportunities are events that need to be created. Expecting the unexpected, when it comes to opportunity and progress, rarely works. One is best guided by a proactive nature to facilitate and cultivate these opportunities. “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” (Milton Berle). As this fitting quote so nicely summarizes, opportunities require active participation. You need to build a bridge to get to the opportunity you seek.

“Expecting the unexpected rarely works.

Opportunities require active participation.”

But how do you create opportunities or uncover unexpected ones? There are three strategies you can consistently use to increase your yield on opportunities. First, change something. “Change brings opportunity” (Nido Qubein). Change a habit, change a routine, change a relationship, change the way you go about completing some task. Change is a powerful conduit for opportunities and can greatly help your ability to improve processes and pain points. At the very least, committing to changing a routine or practice allows for reflection on subtleties and nuances you may not have been previously aware of.

“Change is a powerful conduit for opportunities.”

Second, don’t be afraid to fail. “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently” (Henry Ford). On a previous Sunday Surgical Scrub, I averred the need to fail and the benefits inherent is this necessary stage of growth (you can find the post here). Failure is the most common missed opportunity I see. Whether it is a failed drug trial or a contract not landed, these “failure” events usually possess unexpected opportunities but, as stated above, they require active consideration and proactive pursuit to materialize any merit or substance.

“Failures usually possess unexpected opportunities but require active consideration and proactive pursuit.”

Third, prepare for all possible outcomes. Pilots routinely use situational analysis to algorithmically assess all possible outcomes in flight scenarios. This allows pilots to be prepared for all situations. We can extrapolate this situational awareness to our personal and professional lives. Be prepared for the ideal outcome, the worst-case scenario, and all possible eventualities and the unexpected becomes opportunity.

“Be prepared for the ideal outcome, the worst-case scenario, and all possible eventualities and the unexpected becomes opportunity.”

MEDICINE & MACULA: One of our surgical techniques for endophthalmitis was published earlier this week. The study entitled, Five-Port Combined Limbal and Pars Plana Vitrectomy for Infectious Endophthalmitis, was published in Case Reports in Ophthalmology (2016;7:289–291) and centers on how acute infectious endophthalmitis can be challenging due to severe inflammation. In it, we describe a surgical technique combining limbal based vitrectomy and pars plana vitrectomy to manage acute infectious endophthalmitis. You can find the study here.

case-rep-opthalmol-2016-5-port-endophthalmitis

 

GRATIS: “There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity.” -Douglas MacArthur

 

My best to you,

David Almeida

david@davidalmeidamd.com

Read more

sss-bias-opinion

“Every piece of data is biased. Every argument has opinion.”

 

TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about the effects of bias and opinion. Analysis after the US election show that “fake news” – stories that are false but presented in a truthful manner (e.g., newspaper article format) so as meant to deceive – outperformed legitimate news stories on social media. We now occupy the post-truth economy of thought. In this state, opinion and argument are given the same credence as fact and truth.

Recently, the Oxford Dictionary announced that “post-truth” is its 2016 word of the year. It defined it as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.’ Simply put, If you believe something strongly enough, talk loudly enough about it, and can connect with someone emotionally with your argument, then it impacts others like truth or fact.

As a scientist, I am vehemently against this idea that opinion can be substantiated for fact. Truth requires evidence and logic. Truth should be void of bias and opinion.

“Truth requires evidence and logic. Truth should be void of bias and opinion.”

I have heard many times, “what’s the problem with voicing your opinion?” There is nothing wrong with expressing your opinion – I encourage this! However, please don’t confuse the expression of worthy words versus baseless chatter. Your argument should still be based on truth and constructed in a logical manner.

The problem of repeating nonsense over and over is related to how our brains form memories. Studies show that the more often a message is repeated, the more likely we are to remember it. This effect is called fluent retrieval. However, our brains then erroneously extrapolate that, what we can remember easily, must be true (Inferring facts from fiction: reading correct and incorrect information affects memory for related information. Memory 2012 Jul;20(5):487-98; you can find the full study here). The effect is that if you repeat a lie often enough, it starts to feel like truth.

But how to uncover bias and opinion? First, assume every piece of data is biased and every argument, whether it be in a newspaper article, social media post or formal communication, has opinion. You are a detective and must identify the bias and opinion in everything you consume.

“You must identify the bias and opinion in everything you consume.”

You can minimize bias and opinion by sticking to trusted reporting. However, this is not enough. In science and medicine, we have peer-reviewed literature which is considered the benchmark for bias-free communication. Peer-reviewed studies have experts and thought leaders review the work in question to ensure it is scientifically sound before being published. Having personally published over 100 papers, I can tell you that even this process can have bias. Reviewers have personal and professional biases and humans operate poorly in recognizing their own biases.

Second, when developing an argument, use multiple sources. Never stick to one reference and never rely solely on one authority. Attempt to survey as many respectable sources as possible when trying to come to a conclusion. This synthesis of thought is the crux of thinking for yourself because it forces you to take multiple vantage points and create a unique one for yourself. This is hard work and the main hurdle to overcoming herd mentality.

Finally, refute and reject frequently.Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth” (Albert Einstein). This is not a call for anarchy but a reprisal for individual thought. Authority, or that which is accepted as truth, needs to be questioned. Force yourself to formulate independent thoughts as often as possible. This is not your brain’s default mode so you have to work at it. The goal is to have a society of independent thinkers that question truisms and myths alike. A culture that challenges arguments without fact and calls out opinions lacking logic.

How to uncover bias and opinion:

1.    Assume every piece of data is biased and every argument has opinion.

2.    Never stick to only one reference. Use multiple sources.

3.    Refute and reject regularly.

 

“The goal is to have a society of independent thinkers that question truisms and myths alike. A culture that challenges arguments without fact and calls out opinions lacking logic.”

 

MEDICINE & MACULA: One of our recently featured publications on the ongoing debate of auto-antibodies.

osli-auto-ab

Check out the paper, Positive Auto-Antibody Activity With Retina and Optic Nerve in Smokers and Non-Smokers: The Controversy Continues, published in Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers and Imaging Retina (OSLI Retina). You can find the study here.

osli-retina

 

GRATIS: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” ―Mark Twain

 

My best to you,

David Almeida

david@davidalmeidamd.com

Read more

sss-no-time-no-rush

“It’s when you realize that you are out of time that you must focus on not rushing.”

 

TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about the last minute, the eleventh hour, time as it expires. We are constantly rushed and hurried in our professional commitments and personal relationships. In these pressured moments, we tend to rush when, in fact, we should be deliberate and purposeful with our strategy. As time slips away, we can succumb to bad decisions but there are strategies you can use to avoid errors in these situations.

“As time expires, each second is worth more.”

First, realize that, as time expires, each second is worth more. I like to think of the eleventh hour in terms of relativity. Although one second is one second, in the closing moments of an assignment or instances where a quick decision is required, I like to think of those seconds as “more valuable” than previous ones. When you only have minutes to act, each second is crucial. When you have days to decide, deliberation can be consummate with a longer time window, and seconds seem to matter less.

Previously, on the Decision Triage post of the Sunday Surgical Scrub (you can find it here), I emphasized that, in the last minute, every decision must be made right away and that all triages become urgent in this context. For example, in surgery, I imagine expanding each second to feel like minutes so that I can carefully execute the maneuvers that will bring the outcomes that are required. If there is an unforeseen complication or adverse event – where there is a very small amount of time to correct the error – it is here, I cannot rush! Realizing each second here is worth more than at any other time during the surgery, I can focus solely on these intense junctures. This approach allows speed and efficiency, without ever being rushed or forced into shortcuts.

“Quiet your mind, then plan and execute!”

The feeling of “running out of time” is an external force. It comes from outside you and is then transferred onto your inner self. This creates needless self-inflicted pressure. Quiet your mind, then plan and execute! When you are left with what seems as no time and limited options, still your mind and see beyond the time frame. Find the character of the decision  and align yourself with the basic principles of what you want to achieve.

 

MEDICINE & MACULA: I was in Toronto this weekend for the 56th Annual Walter Wright Symposium, Retina 2016: A Practical Approach to Navigating the Future.

walter-wright-2016

On Saturday, I presented a talk on my approach and techniques for infectious endophthalmitis. The evolving paradigm calls for early surgery and aggressive treatment to salvage vision from this devastating infectious condition.

044_rs0916_North_RK.indd

 

GRATIS: “Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?” -Robin Williams

 

My best to you,

David Almeida

david@davidalmeidamd.com

Read more

sss-paloma-beat-your-own-drum

“Live dangerously.

Embrace pain and take risk.

Desire to beat your own drum.”

 

TASK AT HAND: Last week, here on the Sunday Surgical Scrub, we discussed the idea that pain is certain but suffering is optional (you can see the post here). Thank you kindly for all your emails on this topic. Given the interest, today we are going to take this one step further.

This week I’m thinking about not only accepting pain as certain, but embracing this as an opportunity for growth and discovery. Yes, embrace pain, risk and the myriad of challenges that confront you. Live dangerously without fear of these experiences. As humans, we have evolved a strong tendency for loss aversion: avoiding that which is unpleasant is hardwired into our central nervous system. I prefer to invert this reaction: embrace the pain and risk that life brings forward because, it is in these moments, that we carve out character and define development. It is in these formative moments that lies occult opportunities to beat our own drum.

“Embrace pain and risk for it is in these moments that we carve out character and define development.”

“Believe me! The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!” (Friedrich Nietzsche) I have never known convenience to be a great innovator. I have never met idle chatter that sparked sentiment. I have yet to see predictability spawn spontaneity. It is when we take risks, accept difficulties, and elevate ourselves that we – more often than not – push through boundaries and breakthrough into new landscapes of creativity, sincerity, and understanding.

As you move in the pursuit of happiness and satisfaction, it may be necessary to live dangerously and take risks. Next time you are confronted with difficulty and dissatisfaction, embrace it and attempt to reveal its impact on you. Accept the painful transition and see how you are forced to adapt to navigate it. There is no permanence in pain.

“Accept painful transitions and see how you are forced to adapt. There is no permanence to pain.”

Refuse to bow to the pressures and difficulties you encounter. You will be left with the ultimate satisfaction that no matter what song echoes in the background, you’re playing to your own beat.

 

MEDICINE & MACULA: Thank you, Retina Specialist magazine, for showcasing our work on complicated viral retinitis retinal detachment repair in the November 2016 issue. This is part of our evolving work on approaches to complex retinal detachments.

viral-retinitis-retinal-specialist-nov-2016

Check out the publication here.

retinal-specialist-mag

 

GRATIS: I was in New York City yesterday to watch the musical Hamilton. This fantastic production made me smile as it reminded me of the Stella Adler quote: “Life beats down and crushes the soul, and art reminds you that you have one.”

hamilton

 

My best to you,

David Almeida

david@davidalmeidamd.com

Read more

sss-pain-vs-suffering

“Pain is certain, suffering is optional.”

 

TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about pain and suffering. Take the sutured incision pictured above. After a surgical wound, almost everyone will experience pain. However, only some become burdened with suffering, while others do not. As a surgeon, I realize that almost all patients experience pain, but I find it distressing when patients become entangled in prolonged suffering.

We can extend this concept to the trials we encounter in our personal lives. We all have to bear duress, inflictions, and loss. The twists of life invariably ebb and flow between states of pain and vulnerability and moments of joy and satisfaction. Experiencing pain is certain. But we do not need to suffer. Suffering is optional.

Accept pain. One of the fundamental strategies to minimizing the experience of suffering from the pain we face is to, simply, accept the pain. This can be somewhat counter-intuitive but, by accepting the pain we face, we choose to not react to it. In not reacting, we are denying the possibility of succumbing to maladaptive behaviors like suffering. Accept your pain, and if at all possible, let it not elicit any reaction from you.

Deny suffering. Suffering can become a haze. A fog of uncertainty that can impair your ability to make effective decisions. We too often aggrandize the value of suffering. Instead, avoid internalizing forces that may weaken you. “Life is short. You have to be able to laugh at our pain or we never move on” (Jeff Ross).

If you take one sentiment from this post, please know that suffering is optional. I have found this alone to be liberating because it gives us this choice of how to react to the pain we encounter in life. Pain is guaranteed but suffering is not. Suffering is not predestined or inevitable. Instead, find a way to look back, laugh, but then move on.

MEDICINE & MACULA: Check out our new publication, Ocular Hypertension After Intravitreal Dexamethasone (Ozurdex) Sustained-Release Implant, published in RETINA. Our report shows that the intravitreal dexamethasone implant, Ozurdex, can be used in various types of patients, including glaucoma suspects, with a good safety profile.

ozurdex-retina-nov-2016

Check out the publication here.

retina

 

GRATIS: “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” -Bob Marley

 

My best to you,

David Almeida

david@davidalmeidamd.com

Read more