07 Apr Best Retina Specialist Part II | Patient Advocacy
This part 2 of this article. Here’s the first part of “Best Retina Specialist.”
I Don’t Know the “Best Retina Specialist”
Even in my locale of Fairfax, Virginia, I would find it difficult to truly rate my peers as retina specialists. I suppose that if I were to become a patient with retina problems, I might be able to better choose. It’s the only way I could objectively evaluate, first hand, each of my retina peers.
For now, I can only secondarily evaluate the “best retina specialist” by evaluating the occasional patient we might share or discuss. In addition, I have seen very few of my local retina specialists actually perform surgery – another barrier to finding the “best retina specialist.”
I can only rely on word-of-mouth from my colleagues in the health professions and occasional patients. I don’t have any primary contact with most of my colleagues with regard to patient care.
Even U.S. News and World report is heavily subjective. Finding the best doctors relies on evaluations by our “peers.”
I suppose if we all practiced together under the same roof and at the same time….
It may be difficult, if not impossible to find the best “retina specialist.” The selection is heavily biased based upon subjective evaluations each step of the way.
There is no objective evaluation – such as winning a race to establish the world’s fastest human or the Superbowl (as a side note – I’ve always wondered whether pitting one surgical team vs. another had any merit or ethical ramifications – a sort of reality show to find the best/fastest surgical team.)
For you, our patients, there is no relevance to the entire process of becoming a retina specialist. Therefore, you can’t really judge us by our training.
Relevance – or ability to relate to one another – is really the basis for defining the “best” of anything. The “best” means different things to all of us.
What Does this Mean?
As I teach about social media to my medical colleagues, I often emphasize that what we deem as “best” is based upon criteria which are RELEVANT to ourselves.
This is why what is “best” for someone may not be the “best” to others. One retina specialist with a great bedside manner may fail compared to another who performs long, lengthy exams.
Perhaps that’s why there are more than one “best” retina specialist.
In the end, the “best retina specialist” has to meet some cursory criteria, but you are left with finding the doctor who can relate to you, build trust and communicate with you.
Most retinal diseases are not intuitive, that is, they are difficult to understand. Therefore, to me, the best retina specialist is one with whom you can bond, and trust, when making decision about retinal diseases.