Sunday Surgical Scrub: May 15, 2016

Task at hand: This week I’m thinking about decision making, problem solving and conflict resolution. Before making any decision, you need to properly define or characterize what that decision is. In medicine, when elucidating a problem from a patient, a physician commonly describes the “character” of the problem; for example, what is the character of the pain? Is it a dull ache, sharp pain, or boring soreness?

In this same manner, for decision analysis, you need to accurately define the “character” of the problem – what is the essence of conflict at hand? Does it require an urgent decision? Does it implicate your personal views? Is it merely a technical issue? It is essential to grasp the core of the question so as to arrive at the best possible decision for you. If you don’t understand what a decision is asking of you to consider, it will be challenging to arrive at a satisfactory choice. Worse, you may miss the opportunity to make a bona fide decision.

Personal tip: Like with a real patient, listening is the best tool to understand your conflict’s character. Stop and listen, and never deny what your consciousness (“gut”) is trying to communicate to you. Very early in my medical training, when I was first learning how to extract meaningful information from a patient to understand the “character” of their problem, a wonderful and wise mentor asked me: “Why did God give you hands?” I must have looked puzzled when then he answered: “To put in your pockets”. Put your hands in your pockets and listen! Don’t rush the decision, examination or whatever you think the next step is.

Medicine & Macula: Recent review of 145 studies reveals 22.9% of world (1.4 billion people) are myopic. This number is projected to increase to almost 50% (4.8 billion) by 2050. Main drivers are our current lifestyle of less outdoor time and more screen time. Myopia is a risk factor for retinal detachment and a proportion of individuals will have serious vision loss from myopic degeneration.

Check out the study here.

Gratis: Thank you Retina Today for featuring me in your 5Q segment – always a pleasure working with Retina Today and Scott Krzywonos! You can see the story here.

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