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December 1989

The Interaction Between Ophthalmology and Society: History Suggests Strategy

Author Affiliations

Cincinnati, Ohio

Arch Ophthalmol. 1989;107(12):1740-1742. doi:10.1001/archopht.1989.01070020822021

So that ophthalmologists may develop constructive approaches for the future, we need to understand how we got into our present political, economic, and social situation. The purpose of this article is to try to untangle a skein of recent history and to delineate a course of action.

RECENT HISTORY  Many of the problems that we confront constitute a familiar litany: coping with competition among ourselves; the search for definitions of ethical behavior; the high costs of technologically advanced equipment and the need to have such hardware to compete; the downward pressure on our fees; and perhaps because society is aware of the fact that the reduced physician reimbursement might threaten quality, a variety of quality assurance programs that range from peer review organizations to recertification.A less-voiced concern, but perhaps most important, is the loss of respect that ophthalmology is suffering, both among physicians and nonphysicians. We have been portrayed

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