Slaves or Masters of the Information Age?
FROM THE CHIEF MEDICAL EDITOR
Alan B. Aker M.D., F.A.C.S.
Having spent a few weeks on three different Amish
farms, I've sometimes eyed their slow-paced existence and simple lifestyle with a bit of envy. As ophthalmologists, we're pretty familiar with rapid technological change. When it means better care for our patients, we do what it takes to adapt. But there is also life outside the surgical suite. On days when our cell phones are ringing incessantly as we dash back to the car to retrieve the Palm Pilot, where the time of our next meeting is stored, and we're thinking about the e-mails streaming into our laptops awaiting our attention, it's not so clear whether all this technology is such a good idea. And while we each have our own opinions on that, they probably don't matter. The gadgets and devices that allow us to dial out, link up and log on are here to stay.
And, really, avoiding them completely doesn't make much sense these days. They do provide us with a very useful flexibility in how we get our work done. So, that leaves us only two other options. We can either become slaves to these technological advances, allowing them to drive us crazy, or seize upon what they offer by acquiring the skills to master them. We'll be fine with option two as long as we're controlling technology's place in our lives, and it's not controlling us. Only then will it actually simplify our complex, 21st-century existence.
GOOD ADVICE FOR EAGER AND RELUCTANT USERS
Whether you're an eager or reluctant user of computer technology, you'll want to read this month's cover story. In it, Dr. Mounir Bashour, a.k.a. the Wired Ophthalmologist, answers our most common question: What should we buy?
Understanding what's out there and how it will fit our particular needs is half the battle. Armed with the right "stuff," we might yet be able to carve out some important quiet time -- time to smell the roses and enjoy the beauty and wonder of all God has created.
Ophthamology Management, Issue: September 2001