US + THEM: Tapping the Positive Power of Difference

PittinskyIn our prior blog regarding pediatric ophthalmology I reiterated some of the long-standing biases which have resulted in an “Us vs. Them” mentality to the detriment rather than the benefit of the public.  My 35 years of experience in the field has taught me that while I continuously look for positive opportunities that may be synergistic, I am realistic about these deep-seated biases that begin in ophthalmology residency programs and permeate joint organizational policy statements in ophthalmology and pediatrics.  Todd Pittinsky, a former research director of Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership, has written an engaging book that serves as a framework for the positive potential between our two fields rather than the tired antagonism that has persisted on the local level and through organizational policy statements.  What is needed. to paraphrase Associate Professor Pittinsky’s terms, is a new era of professional allophilia.

Hellersetin 1

A potential model for professional allophilia comes our colleague, Dr. Lynn Hellerstein in Colordao.  On November 29 the principals of Children’s Eye Physicians came to Hellerstein & Brenner Vision Associates for an historical, collaborative meeting.  Can you imagine developmental optometrists providing vision therapy education for pediatric ophthalmologists?  Simply looking at the Facebook photos of the meeting is encouraging:

seco2013aThere are other positive collaboratives of this nature occurring around the country, one of which is being nurtured by visionhelp colleague Dr. Nancy Torgerson.  Take a look at the description of a course that Dr. Torgerson will be giving with Dr Thomas Lenart at the upcoming SECO meeting in Atlanta:
136 Teaming Up with Pediatric Ophthalmology
1:30 PM – 3:30 PM | 2 hrs. CEC
Nancy Torgerson, OD, FCOVD
Thomas Lenart, MD, PhD
Traditionally, there has been a lack of synergy in patient care between developmental/behavioral optometrists and pediatric ophthalmologists. It is our aim to show that the collaborative efforts between the two groups can, in many cases, provide a far superior level of patient care than either could offer without the other.




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