The Lost Art of Listening
The Lost Art of Listening
By Douglas Parry
I have this Rip Van Winkle-like habit for this Publisher's column. This is just my third column since the re-launch of Ophthalmology Management in 1997. But the five-year itch has kicked in. (Mom, are you reading this?)
These long intervals are not for lack of things to say, as my staff will tell you. But if there's one fundamental thing I have learned from my almost 30-year career in medical publishing, it's the unsurpassed value in listening and learning. So simple, yet so vital.
I thought about this in mid September when I had the privilege of meeting with Bruce Maller of BSM Consulting. We learned much that day from Bruce, as he imparted some of his knowledge and perspective gleaned from his 25+ years in the field. Bruce has lectured to, consulted for and mentored literally thousands of ophthalmologists—young and old. He has also authored dozens of bylined articles. His authoritative voice has consistently helped to frame the discussion of how doctors should approach the business challenges and opportunities that confront the profession, collectively and as individuals.
Bruce and his group have also taught and certified ophthalmology staff, instructed students on transitioning into practice and given them the tools to succeed. In fact, BSM has over 800 member practices in its online education portal, BSM Connection for Ophthalmology, and nearly 40,000 students registered in its affiliated distance learning center, who have taken over 250,000 courses over the past eight years.
The quality of Bruce's work as an educator is unmatched. So I am very excited to tell you that, starting in this issue, Bruce and his team will author a column for us called Best Practices. Given his interactions with ophthalmologists in many different settings—from small, solo practices to large, multidisciplinary groups with several satellite offices—he's in an ideal position to offer sound advice.
In clinical and surgical matters, “best practices” are highly sought-after guidelines that reflect the wisdom of the thought leaders. Here, we're looking for Bruce to bring that same intellectual rigor to the practice management realm, where it is sorely needed—hence the play on words in the column title. I know that you will benefit greatly from Bruce's insights.
Let's Not Stop There!
I would be remiss if I didn't mention two other key additions we bring to you, effective with this issue.
Are you interested in ideas on how to run a more efficient practice that is not only cost effective but that also puts the highest priority on patient safety and superior outcomes? In this era of lower reimbursements and higher overhead costs, who isn't?
Ophthalmology Management is pleased to launch a new column, The Efficient Ophthalmologist, written by Steven Silverstein, MD, who has been in private practice in Kansas City, Mo., for the past 20 years. He is also an adjunct clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Medical School.
Dr. Silverstein will be regularly providing practice-proven tips and concepts on how to make your office run more smoothly, developed at his own highly successful practice. You can find his initial column on The Efficient Ophthalmologist, in which he advocates using checklists as a foundation for a safe and efficient ophthalmology practice.
Because we at Ophthalmology Management also pride ourselves on our uniquely pertinent clinical and surgical content, we also introduce to you a new corneal care column this month, by Thomas John, MD. We're thrilled to have an internationally recognized thought leader in cornea and a renowned author of scholarly texts and journal articles share his expertise with our audience. Dr. John is a clinical associate professor at Loyola University Chicago, and also maintains a private practice with several locations in the greater Chicago area.
His column, Corneal Clarity, will discuss the latest research in cornea and how it applies to real-world practice. A clear cornea is of course the goal of any medical intervention that involves the anterior segment. I'm sure that Dr. John will bring “clarity of thought” to the discussion of how you can succeed in your patient management efforts.
Onward and Upward
Especially in the days ahead, with a still-struggling economy and lingering uncertainty about health care reform, articles like the ones above will bring a world of value to your approach in handling a number of tricky practice situations and patient management.
We will continue to listen, and continue to deliver the information that sets Ophthalmology Management apart from the sea of publications you receive! A sincere thanks for your readership and loyalty over the years and into the future. OM
||Douglas Parry is the publisher of Ophthalmology Management and Retinal Physician. He has nearly 30 years' experience in ophthalmic publishing. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
Ophthamology Management, Issue: October 2011