Protecting Sight #133: The human moments within wars. Floppy iris, the miotic pupil, & corneal manifestations of systemic disease. The process to become an Olympic champion.

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 – Janine di Giovanni: What I saw in the war. “Reporter Janine di Giovanni has been to the worst places on Earth to bring back stories from Bosnia, Sierra Leone and most recently Syria. She tells stories of human moments within large conflicts — and explores that shocking transition when a familiar city street becomes a bombed-out battleground.” (

And there, sadly, will always be wars. And I am deluding myself if I think, as a journalist, as a reporter, as a writer, what I do can stop them. I can’t. I’m not Kofi Annan. He can’t stop a war. He tried to negotiate Syria and couldn’t do it. I’m not a U.N. conflict resolution person. I’m not even a humanitarian aid doctor, and I can’t tell you the times of how helpless I’ve felt to have people dying in front of me, and I couldn’t save them. All I am is a witness. My role is to bring a voice to people who are voiceless. 

Janine di Giovanni (Ted Talk)

2. Cataract Surgery – Richard Mackool MD – Episode 21: Floppy Iris and Miotic Pupil in a Hypertensive Female.

3. Wills Eye Hospital Corneal Update – Zeba Syed MD (Program Chair). Wills Eye Hospital perfected free educational webinars before COVID-19. Look for this webinar on the free Wills Eye Knowledge Portal in the days ahead.

4. Episode 90: Apolo Ohno: Process Versus Prize — “8x Olympic medalist and short-track speed skating legend, Apolo Ohno chats about his origin story, recovering from multiple failures, mental training, confidence and leaving it all of the ice.”

Filled with life lessons. The mental training and dealing with challenges have direct applications for medicine, ophthalmology, and surgery.

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