Whitney Hauser : Hi, I’m Dr. Whitney Hauser and welcome to Dry Eye Coach podcast. Today I’m joined by Dr. Selina McGee. Selina is a private practitioner and owner of Precision Vision of Edmond and she’s also the president of the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians. Welcome, Selina. How are you today?
Selina McGee :I’m great. Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Whitney Hauser :Good. I love that we both are on the line together talking and we’re both going to have accents, and we just say that right out of the gate. It’s so true. So hopefully the listeners will not need translators for this, but I love having that shared accent with you. We’re going to go ahead and get started. I’m just going to ask you a couple of questions and just to get your perspective on things, I think what’s interesting is a lot of experts in the field, particularly of dry eye, work in a lot of different areas. They work in tertiary dry centers, which I’ve been affiliated with. They work in ophthalmology practices. Some of them work in private practice, but we don’t hear quite as much of that voice. So I’m really anxious to kind of get your perspective on that today. The first question I’m going to jump in with is why, from your perspective, is patient education on dry eye so important? How does that fit into what you do with your patients every day?
Selina McGee :It’s a great question, and I’m glad you led with the fact that I’m in private practice because I think honestly it makes so much sense in private practice, maybe even more so than in a tertiary setting or a co-management setting, simply because most patients don’t recognize their symptoms with dry eye disease and it affects every piece of private practice. What I mean by that is if you have an optical like I do, if you don’t treat their dry eye, they’re going to come back with a glasses RX check. We all know that time is money, and so when you spend that on a glasses RX check and in fact it’s ocular surface disease that we missed, then that’s a huge piece of that. Contact lens patients, lots of private practices have huge contact lens practices, mine included. So if we don’t do a good job of assessing the ocular surface and making sure that is stable, then your contact lens patients are going to suffer and you’re going to spend more chair time doing refits.
Selina McGee :Then if you’re co-managing your surgical patients, and the patients that I work with and a lot of cataract patients these days, they have such good premium options. But if we don’t have a premium surface to deal with, once they get to the surgeon, they’re not going to have a premium outcome. Then of course in private practice, we have patients with glaucoma. We have patients that we’re the first line of defense. So if we don’t do a good job of [inaudible 00:03:06] and teaching our patients what dry eye disease looks like and what the symptoms are, then we can miss a lot of things including even something like a pass down of the disease of Sjogren’s. We know how dangerous that is because those patients unrecognized are much more likely to get lymphoma. So I think there’s such a huge opportunity for private practitioners to really embrace this and set themselves apart.
Whitney Hauser :The education, as I asked that question was really kind of directed at how does education play a role with the patient directly? But really there’s almost two different ways that you can see that question. I think that you sort of embraced both angles of it, which is one, we’re educating the patient in dry eye disease about all the things that optometry can offer to them even if they’re not highly symptomatic. I think that’s an important piece because when you