Protecting Sight #141: A new way to heal hearts without surgery. Bowled out nucleus and HSV stromal keratitis. Leonardo’s pursuit of the universal measure of man. Less certainty, more inquiry.

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 – Franz Freudenthal: A new way to heal hearts without surgery. “At the intersection of medical invention and indigenous culture, pediatric cardiologist Franz Freudenthal mends holes in the hearts of children across the world, using a device born from traditional Bolivian loom weaving. “The most complex problems in our time,” he says, “can be solved with simple techniques, if we are able to dream.” (

The path, it’s not easy. Many obstacles arise all the time. But we receive strength from our patients. Their resilience and courage inspire our creativity. Our goal is to make sure that no child is left behind, not because of cost or access. 

Dr. Franz Freudenthal (Ted Talk)

Have a box of tissues handy and prepared to be inspired. Physicians stand on the shoulders of giants.

2. Cataract Surgery – Uday Devgan MD – The bowled out nucleus. Dr. Devgan writes in part,”We have all experienced it: a nucleus that it too soft and gummy to divide in the capsular bag and so we keep bowling it out until we are left with this challenge. The nuclear shell is in the capsular bag, very close to the posterior capsule, and there does not seem to be a good way of bringing it out. This is a common situation early in the careers of young ophthalmologists, but it can happen to any cataract surgeon.” One of the highest volume surgeons on the East Coast uses this technique in 90%+ of his cases!

Issue cover for Volume 127, Issue 4

3A. Journal – Ophthalmology: A 2020 Retrospective of Landmark Contributions. Stephen D. McLeod, David W. Parke II. Ophthalmology April 2020: S1-S2.

3B. The Herpetic Eye Disease Study: Topical Corticosteroid Trial for Herpes Simplex Stromal Keratitis: A Paradigm Shifting Clinical Trial. James Chodosh. Ophthalmology April 2020: S3-4.

The 2-page introductions to the landmark articles are all superbly written overviews.

4. Book Chapter – Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. Chapter 14, “The Nature of Man.” Leonardo (and Isaacson) continue to inspire.

5. The Knowledge Project, Episode 89: Maria Konnikova: Less Certainty, More Inquiry — “Professional poker player, psychologist and author of two New York Times best-sellers, Maria Konnikova discusses her mentors, making decisions in environments of uncertainty, the importance of reflection, cooling down your emotions and Sherlock Holmes.”

Filled with thought provoking insights.

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