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How Ophthalmology Has Evolved During COVID-19

A perspective on what's moved virtually, and what hasn't, since the pandemic began in March.

Every facet of care and every regular gathering of medical fellows has been thrown off its axis by the ongoing coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Telemedicine has entered the fold in areas where in-person healthcare can be avoided, and clinicians have become investigators to their own daily practices.

The pandemic’s effect on ophthalmology is no less interesting than any other specialty, as clinicians are faced with an older patient clientele.

“We’ll see how that plays out in the coming months and years, but I suspect through this crisis, I think it’ll be pretty much be business as usual with taking care of patients,” W. Lloyd Clark, MD, told HCPLive®.

In the final segment of an interview with HCPLive during the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) 2020 Virtual Meeting this weekend, Clark, of the Palmetto Retinal Center, discussed how the implementation of retina-based care technology has been slow the last few months, with the hoped-for platforms just not yet being available.

Nonetheless, Clark praised the role of technology in meetings like ASRS 2020 itself, noting the “social, collegial, cohesive” nature of the retina clinicians who regularly attend the meeting and looked forward to the weekend of online connection.

“Some of the smaller meetings have been very creative, entertaining, a lot of fun to participate in,” Clark said. “There’s been some appetite to get online and see our colleagues. Because we are, as a specialty, used to meeting a lot, and used to seeing our colleagues. There’s been a desire to reconnect.”