Eye to eye . . .
The patient + doctor connection at the heart of everything we do
For anyone who has undergone a medical eye exam, that phrase probably brings up the memory of leaning into the forehead-and-chin rest while the ophthalmologist’s eyes, inches away but unseen, peer from the other side of the slit lamp.
Here at the Emory Eye Center, “eye to eye” captures much more: Our physicians’ ethic of direct, thorough, and compassionate communication with patients and families. The mutual sharing between patient and doctor – “Here’s what’s been happening with my vision.” / “Here’s what your examination tells me, and these are the options we should consider.” The ongoing discussion until all parties “see eye to eye,” agreeing – as a team – on a plan of treatment.
What’s more, at Emory Eye Center this short phrase can multiply indefinitely – eye to eye to eye to eye to eye, and so on – reflecting the many other eyes at work within our examining rooms, operating rooms, research laboratories, instructional settings, clinical trials, satellite locations, and, in fact, throughout Emory University School of Medicine.
All of these eyes focus closely on questions related to our eye patients’ problems. Through professional education and extensive experience, they are trained to see analytically; to look for the tiniest clues; to consider every possibility. Who benefits? One patient at a time – and an infinite number of patients in the future.
This complexity, however, springs from something very simple. At the core of each carefully orchestrated treatment – and of every seemingly miraculous outcome – stand, eye to eye, the two constant elements that make all our medical advances both necessary and possible: A patient who is suffering. A doctor who wants to help.