Opening Lines

If I knew then what I know now

Recently, OP asked ophthalmic professionals:

What is the one lesson you learned that you wish you knew when starting your career? As part of an occasional series, we present their answers.


Starting my first job as an ophthalmic technologist was difficult, no doubt about it. I was overwhelmed by my duties, which included doing patients work-ups, visual field, A-scan, B-scan, photography, and contact lens fitting, among others. I also had to deal with difficult patients and challenging coworkers.

Looking back, I understand that this feeling of being overwhelmed was mainly due to a lack of leadership: I did not have a mentor to guide me or point out my flaws, and there were no protocols to follow. There was no guiding vision from anyone in the office. We had several physicians but no specific instructions for the needs of each specialty. I found myself interrupting fellow coworkers several times to ask questions. While there were various satellite offices, there was only one clinical supervisor who traveled among the offices.

For those lacking leadership, I recommend that you:

  • Write more notes. For example, create a notebook or electronic file and dedicate a section for each doctor in your practice.
  • Find a mentor. Pick a special team member who shows self-confidence and wants to coach. Make sure he/she has a vision, a great reputation for knowledge, professionalism, and effectiveness. Rather than focus on moments of failure, that team member should embrace mistakes and ask “What can you learned from this experience?”

These days, I know exactly what physicians need by following written shared instructions and keeping up with updates. In addition, to foster team spirit, I volunteer to mentor new employees.

Martha C. Tello, BGS, COMT, OSC, is an ophthalmic technologist and clinical research coordinator at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Plantation, FL.

In Brief

AcuFocus announced that the first U.S. patient has been implanted with the IC-8 small-aperture intraocular lens (IOL) as part of its pivotal study of the lens in cataract patients. The IC-8 IOL is a clear monofocal lens with an embedded pinhole in the center.

American Surgical Company recently announced the launch of ComfortPack, a needle-free solution for anesthetizing the eye prior to intravitreal injections. The ComfortPack’s 4% lidocaine solution directly numbs the injection site, reducing discomfort and the feeling of pressure.

Bausch + Lomb launched, an educational online resource for people living with age-related macular degeneration. The site uses an increased font size and distinct color contrast.

Eyenovia announced positive results from the MicroStat Phase 3 MIST-1 study, which examined the safety and efficacy of the MicroStat fixed-combination formulation. Markets include the estimated 80-million exam annual pharmacologic mydriasis market in the U.S.

EyePoint Pharmaceuticals announced the U.S. launch of YUTIQ, an FDA-approved, three-year micro-insert containing 0.18 mg of fluocinolone acetonide for the treatment of chronic non-infectious uveitis affecting the posterior segment of the eye.

Harrow Health (formerly known as Imprimis Pharmaceuticals) announced it has formally changed its name. The company’s business subsidiaries, including the drug compounding business ImprimisRx, will continue to operate under their existing names.

Kala Pharmaceuticals has launched INVELTYS (loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic suspension) 1%, an ocular corticosteroid indicated for the treatment of post-operative inflammation and pain following ocular surgery.

Carl Zeiss Meditec announced it completed the acquisition of IanTECH, a company focused on technology solutions for micro-interventional cataract surgery.

Modernizing Medicine now offers customers Relatient patient engagement technology, which is designed to reduce no-shows and improve patient compliance, satisfaction and operational efficiency.

The FDA granted a “Breakthrough Device” designation to the Notal Vision home-based optical coherence tomography system. This designation indicates that the FDA intends to provide interactive and timely communication during device development and throughout the review process for premarket submissions.


The caption on the January/February cover referenced diagnostic testing. The photo actually depicts Robert Noecker, MD, examining a patient at the slit lamp. The editors of Ophthalmic Professional apologize for this oversight.