Category Archives: Opinion

Dr. Rich Driscoll’s New Book An Eye Doctor Answers Is Now Available

A book has been swimming around my head for quite a while and it is finally out. The blog posts have been pretty scarce over the last 10 months as my wife Dr. Diana Driscoll and myself were each putting the final touches on our books. My first book, An Eye Doctor Answers: Explanations to Hundreds of the Most Common Questions Patients Wish They Had Asked Their Eye Doctor, was the last to make its debut and was just published last month on Amazon.

It is very exciting to see something that I have wanted to do for a long time finally become a more than just an idea. When I first set out to write this book I thought I would cover the top fifty questions patients asked their eye doctors. The list of questions patients either wanted to know, or I thought they should know, about their eyes quickly grew. In An Eye Doctor Answers you will find the explanations to almost 400 questions.

My intent was to write a book that was easy to understand, that would read as if you and I were sitting and talking at the end of the exam. Sometimes, nothing makes a point more clearly than a picture or a diagram thus I have included a lot of both. Most good reference books list the sources of their information, An Eye Doctor Answers is no different. I have included a lot of references plus a detailed index to make it easy to find the answers to your questions.

In almost 25 years of practice I have naturally answered a lot of questions, after all that is a big part of what we do, helping patients understand their condition and the associated treatment. Of course, I included the common questions that center around what is myopia, astigmatism, cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, but I didn’t stop there. Many patients are very curious about a wide variety of questions such as how do 3D glasses work, what are my refractive surgery options and risks, or how do I keep my kids from getting more nearsighted. To make it easier to quickly find what you need there is a complete list of questions at the back of the book.

 An Eye Doctor Answers: Explanations to Hundreds of the Most Common Questions Patients Wish They Had Asked Their Eye Doctor is published by the Physician’s Publishing Group as a 254 page paperback or as a Kindle eBook both of which are available on Amazon.com

Top Ten Reasons to Buy Your Contact Lenses from Your Eye Doctor

1. You are guaranteed to get the correct lenses in the correct parameters

2. You are guaranteed to get unexpired lenses

3. If your lenses are not performing properly you don’t have to worry about exchanging your old lenses

4. You can exchange unopened, unexpired, unmarked boxes in new condition at your yearly eye exam

5. If you have a defective lens, we will replace it free of charge

6. We have the latest manufacturer’s rebates available to save you money

7. Competitive pricing

8. FREE shipping

9. You will be getting the lenses from an authorized distributor of the brand you wear

10. You will have the satisfaction of supporting a local business that cares about you and your eyes

Image courtesy of Flickr user Malkav.

10 Must Have FireFox Browser Addons

Occasionally I depart from the usual eye care related topics and branch into something that I feel people might find useful.  My internet browser of choice is Firefox. I only use Internet Explorer when absolutely necessary, which is a very rare event indeed.  What I like about Firefox is that you can customize it with addons.  There are thousands of addons available for Firefox.  Here are a few of my must have favorites.  I use everyone of these daily.

  • Tab Mix Plus – Adds increased options and functionality to Firefox’s current tab system
  • Unites States English Dictionary – a spell checker
  • Google Toolbar for Firefox – search Google from the browser without going to the website, includes other helpful items as well
  • Adblock Plus – gets rid of pop ups and advertisements, you can tell it which pages you want the ads removed
  • Delicious Bookmarks –  Store your bookmarks online and categorize them.  Decline the option to install Yahoo’s Toolbar, Google’s is better
  • ForecastFox – gives you weather in the bottom right corner of the browser
  • Gmail Manager – Much better way to access your Gmail, especially if you have multiple accounts
  • IE Tab – sometimes only Internet Explorer works, usually only needed for an E-Commerce site
  • Remember the Milk for Gmail – My todo list integrated with Gmail
  • Sxipper – Gives me the option to enter my passwords at logon screens

That’s it those are my must have Firefox Browser Extensions/Addons.  You can search for other Firefox addons at the Firefox Addon Website.  I have also reviewed addons that are available to patients with impaired vision.

Response to “Top 5 Reasons Healthcare is Broken” on ZDNet News

The current Healthcare Debate has the potential to be the most important issue of our generation.  For good or bad this legislation will affect all of us for the rest of our lives and the lives of the generations after us.  This post is a departure from our usual posts, however, I read a blog article by an online insurance broker writing on ZDNet News giving his top 5 reasons why our healthcare system is failing and given the timeliness of the issue I felt inclined to respond.  His points are in quotes and italicized.

1. “The current system is set up to reward sickness. Doctors get paid when you see them. And you only see them when something’s wrong, right? Hospitals get paid when someone gets injured or is sick. Pharmaceutical companies make outrageous profits when their drugs are prescribed (and they lavish gifts worth more than your annual salary to the doctors who prescribe the most…see #5). Insurance companies take in more money when there are more sick people to cover. Everything revolves around us being sick.”

The current system doesn’t “reward” sickness.  I can’t imagine a cancer patient feeling rewarded.  More likely they feel  grateful for the excellent care their insurance covers and the second chance at life.  Our current system, unfortunately does not reward good lifestyle choices (see #2).  The coverage for well visits is weak at best.  It is true doctors as well as hospitals get paid when we are sick. I don’t know of a single doctor that would not welcome the chance to consult with a patient regarding preventative medicine.  Preventative care saves a ton of money in the long run and improves the public’s productivity by keeping people well, out of the hospital and in the workforce or school, home, etc.

Who is to say a profit is outrageous?  Profits are necessary to fund future medications, medical devices etc. that solve health problems that treat your family, my family, everyone.  Without a profit a drug company has no money to fund research, donate their product to the needy etc.  Regarding lavishing gifts on doctors to prescribe their meds worth more than an average citizen’s yearly income is an inflammatory statement with no basis in fact that makes the public’s blood boil, and for good reason I might add, but it has no substance.  Many years ago I would not doubt some degree of this went on.   To say or imply that “pay to prescribe” is now or was in the past a common, everyday practice that most, if not all, docs were involved in is to irresponsibly inflame the debate.

2. “We are killing ourselves. Our choices bring on diabetes, heart-attack-inducing high blood pressure and cholesterol, obesity, chronic illness, and the like. We eat crap. We supersize it. We consider the walk from the parking lot to our office exercise. We only see the doctor when we get sick.”

I agree here, however, we don’t need to nationalize healthcare to solve this problem.  We need to reward people for making the right choices. We also need to educate people that the choices they make directly influence their well being and future financial health.  Heathcare costs could be cut tremendously through educated lifestyle changes. Read Points 3, 4 and 5 Here….