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Cover Focus | Nov/Dec '20

Maintaining Peak Performance

"How do you deal with musculoskeletal issues (neck, back, hand pain) as an eye surgeon?"

Alison Early, MD, and Lorraine M. Provencher, MD, recently shared an informative video tackling the topic of ergonomics for ophthalmologists. As Drs. Early and Provencher describe, studies have found musculoskeletal complaints to be more common among younger versus older physicians. View their video for tips on achieving proper positioning in the clinic and in the OR to minimize strain and maximize career longevity.

Alison Early, MD
Lorraine M. Provencher, MD

Ashley Brissette, MD, MSc, FRCSC, shares pearls for performing an ergonomics assessment of your workplace and discusses the creation of a module to teach trainees and young ophthalmologists to achieve better positioning in a variety of settings.

Dr. Brissette also told MillennialEYE: “My advice for dealing with musculoskeletal pain as an eye surgeon is to try and prevent it in the first place. Regular exercise, stretching, and strength training can help. Make sure to take breaks to get up and move between cases so that you aren’t stagnant in the same position for too long on surgery days. Also, take the time to set up the microscope and height of the stretcher so that you are sitting in a comfortable position. It may take a few extra seconds to do this, but it will save your back in the end! Lastly, if you already have discomfort, try stretching after a day in the OR and even consider physical therapy to learn some exercises that can counter the effects of sitting at the microscope.”

Ashley Brissette, MD, MSc, FRCSC