Comprehensive Ophthalmology

Comprehensive ophthalmologists are important to eye care General ophthalmology provides the primary services and support most patients need.

Comprehensive ophthalmology is alive and well in Kolkata. As an ophthalmologist Dr Rudra Prosad Ghosh and with 19 years of experience in practicing general ophthalmology, I was asked to offer my opinion about the future of comprehensive ophthalmology.

Some comments by Dr R P Ghosh that practicing general ophthalmology is not economically feasible and that general ophthalmologists lack the training to become proficient at various surgical techniques. However, I disagree with these statements.

General ophthalmologists far outnumber subspecialists in Kolkata. I have the portal of entry to eye care for many people. I have also the caretakers who tend to all the mundane, although important, aspects of eye care. I have performed to complete eye exams, prescribe glasses and contact lenses, and diagnose and treat common eye problems. Most of us have become proficient small-incision cataract surgeons. Although training in some of today’s residency programs may not provide adequate phaco experience for someone going out into the real world, new general ophthalmologists can take courses and work with experienced surgeons to improve their skills.

In my practice, the majority of my patients are elderly (over 65 years). These people tend to have serious and often multiple eye problems. They fear vision loss more than anything and turn to their general ophthalmologist for understanding and careful explanations of their eye problems. Sometimes, in such cases as advanced age-related macular degeneration, just spending a few extra minutes with the patient can provide the sympathy and support that is needed. The patient needs to be allowed to voice his concerns and needs to be told that he is not alone. Helping these patients by referring them to low-vision services and providing other resources goes a long way in improving their ability to function at home.