Protecting Sight #90: A doctor’s touch & the transformative ritual of the patient examination. The challenges of post-residency life, lifelong learning, ocular syphilis, and Leaves of Grass

Welcome to my daily learning journal. My daily goal is to watch one Ted Talk and one cataract surgery. I also plan to read one journal article and read/listen to a book chapter, short story or significant work.

Here’s today’s list:

1. Ted Talk – Abraham Verghese: A doctor’s touch. “Modern medicine is in danger of losing a powerful, old-fashioned tool: human touch. Physician and writer Abraham Verghese describes our strange new world where patients are merely data points, and calls for a return to the traditional one-on-one physical exam.” (

This is one of my favorite Ted Talks by physician and author Abraham Verghese MD.  He speaks about the doctor-patient relationship.  

A doctor’s human touch remains an essential element of the patient experience.  To touch, to comfort, diagnose, and heal. Covered by our PPE, we’ve created temporary barriers to closely perform examinations. 

Regarding PPE and COVID, I hope that “This too shall pass.” And I look forward to the return of the transformative ritual of the examination, which is essential to our mission of protecting sight and empowering lives.

2. Cataract Surgery – Uday Devgan MD – Is ophthalmology residency too difficult? Dr. Devgan writes, “In the video below, I will share with you the most important lesson that I learned when I was a medical student. That lesson has been instrumental to my success — I would not be here without it. Let me pass this pearl on to you so that you can achieve incredible success and happiness in your career!”

A, A fundus photograph illustrates a yellowish placoid lesion. B, Optical coherence tomography demonstrates an irregular thickening of the retinal pigment epithelium layer with small nodular elevations.

3. Journal -Kansal V, Dollin M. Acute and Painless Monocular Vision Loss in a Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Positive Man. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2017;135(7):811–812. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.5679

Walt Whitman, steel engraving, July 1854.jpg

4. Book Chapter – Walt Whitman – Leaves of GrassSparknotesWikipedia, and Gutenberg. Book 6.

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