Thank you for all you kind (and not so kind)
responses to this website.
We chosen a select group of responses to
share with our readers.
In an effort to give equal time to opposing
views we will
post positive and negative feedback.
Please feel free to send us your comments.
Make it good and we will consider posting your opinion.
Look for my response to
comments in italics
Send Comments to: email@example.com
Before we get to the mail, a few
comments are in order:
First, as soon as the first
edition of this website was placed online, I began to receive e-mail from numerous
optometrists cursing me and claiming defamation of their profession. The fact is, this
site is not an indictment of optometry as a profession (we'll save that for another site).
This site is singularly dedicated to making public the ethical and legal issues involved
with co-management of eye surgery patients. Of course, the truth is that "it takes
two to tango". There are two sides to co-management relationships, surgeon and
co-managing non-surgeon. Both sides are involved with the ethical and legal issues
presented herein. So to my optometric readers... curse away if you must; but, if you read
this site and it hits a little close to home, whose fault is that?
Second, a number of people have
inquired as to my identity. I have been accused of being a gutless, pathetic coward.
Others wonder if the content of this site can be trusted since the author has not revealed
his identity. There are a number of reasons for my identity to remain anonymous. The
primary reason is to keep the focus off of me an on the message. If you feel that the
content presented is not compelling enough on its own, then ignore it.
NOW...ON TO THE MAIL...
To Whom It May Concern,
As the President of the American Optometric Association I object to your
characterization that Optometrists refer patients to surgeons for LASIK to the highest
bidder. We send patients to surgeons who are highly skilled in the LASIK procedure. To
send a patient to a surgeon who "dabbles" in this surgery would be a disservice
to our patients. It seems to me the people you are really upset with are your fellow
Ophthalmologists who are more skilled and better trained than you in providing this
surgical procedure. This, in my opinion, is not a battle between Optometrists and
Ophthalmologists, but between Ophthalmologists some who are the have and others who are
the have nots. Your accusations are invalid and not based in fact. The most interesting
part of your "web page" is your unwillingness to put your name in print.
Obviously you are embarrassed by what erroneous statements you have written. An anonymous
author like you is one without conviction or conscious.
Harvey P. Hanlen, O.D., F.A.A.O.
President, American Optometric Association
Looks like I got
somebody's attention. The skill of the surgeon is NOT the issue. Fee-splitting is
Excellent! You may have seen me , Gary Vatter, on the Board of Trustees of the
Surgical Eyes Foundation. I have researched this subject to death and am even in private
litigation concerning medical malpractice AND "fee-splitting". Not only is
"optometrist referral" unethical, I have found that post-operative care even
suffers when a certified refractive surgeon OTHER THAN the original surgeon does the
followup care. A few years ago I had refractive surgery on a Friday afternoon. By Saturday
morning, the surgeon was in the Caribbean. The followup surgeon, 17 hours post-op, openly
expressed bitterness about having to work the weekend to follow up the partner's patients
- and denied me critical care on that basis!
I like what you are doing. If I can ever be of informational assistance, you
may call me nights and weekends,
You can visit the
Surgical Eyes Foundation Websie at www.surgicaleyes.com
Your generalizations do a great disservice for all interested in refractive
surgery...you should be ashamed of what you wrote....but I imagine if you had any sense of
shame you would not have written it in the first place.
The greatest service
for those interested in refractive surgery is information.
I'm not saying I disagree with the views on your web page. A devil's advocate
position would be that you may be a smaller volume doc who wants a piece of the pie that
is increasingly being monopolized by the higher volume surgeons and/or centers that use
the feeder system provided by ODs. Here's another wrinkle ...if someone does have a
post-op complication...they end up going back to the MD anyway if the problem is severe
enough. The co-managing OD still gets his slice.
It's not just post-op management is wrong...so is pre-op.
The current standard of care is abysmal. Pre-op consults and evaluations fly at
present because the patient has become the cost of doing business. There's enough money
being made that the occasional PREVENTABLE screw-up is acceptable because it can be
financially absorbed. No substantive help for the post-op with complications.
The biggest thing missing has been apprising people of the degree of risk with
regard to their unique visual system and how a complication is manifest for the rest of
your life. I was preventable had I been told the whole truth. I trusted an OD/MD team of
whores. Science is at a mistress that doesn't lie and demands respect.
Well done! At last some honesty!
I just wanted to thank you for letting people know that
"fee-splitting" exists. It lets people who are interested in this not to trust
every Joe claiming to be a Dr. Vision is not to be tampered with. So don'tlet these people
get you down. You are providing a service to people and letting them know to research
their decisions to the fullest! Thank You!!!
greatest service for those interested in refractive surgery is information. Don't
worry,the words of others do not bother me in the least!
Back to Home Page