As ophthalmologists, we commit a great deal of time and energy to our craft—improving our diagnostic abilities, sharpening our surgical skills, optimizing our outcomes, and so on. But, truly, at the heart of what we do lies a component of care that is much less tangible and measurable: our ability to connect with others. After all, most of us likely entered medicine, in part, because we wanted to help people.
A well-known quote by Maya Angelou, which has been adapted and disseminated by and to those who treat patients, goes, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” This concept certainly applies to our relationship with our patients but extends to all those around us as well.
Our ultimate job as ophthalmologists—to protect our patients’ vision—is facilitated by our ability to effectively connect with others. We must strive to help our patients feel educated and understood, our colleagues supported and respected, and our workspaces positive and energizing. Our clinical and surgical outcomes become much less significant when these other elements are lacking.
In this issue of MillennialEYE, ophthalmologists who are well versed in people skills and human connections share updates they have made to their practice to better serve those around them. Discover how to engage patients on a personal level, positively influence others through social media, effectively lead a team, cultivate a healthy work environment, and more. I hope these articles are a source of inspiration for all of us to assess and update the experiences of those in our care and of those who help us to deliver it.