How can retina specialists learn from the COVID-19 pandemic?

Dr. Breazzano discusses how clinicians can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future crises.

Mark Breazzano, MD: I think we learned a lot from this pandemic. And at least the silver lining to it is that, you know, if we have a similar crisis, I think it will be easier for us to adjust to that one moving forward, too. So I think just really taking a close look at how we handled things. And, you know, certain challenges to one practice might not have been the same challenge to another one.

And I think just being open and talking about it with others and seeing how other practices sort of evolved or responded, maybe other practices can sort of take that and use it to adjust for their own practice, too. And so it can be sort of a mutual sort of enhancement and moving forward be able to adjust accordingly.

You know, a lot of these procedures and surgeries are have rebounded, at least anecdotally, and I think they will continue because we know that they are useful for saving vision, but I do think there are certain aspects that I think we'll definitely keep a close eye on. Like we were saying before with the protocol V with DRCR network, does every diabetic macular edema patient really need treatment, particularly those with 20/25 or better vision?

And so, I think there are certain patients that maybe could go a little bit longer without treatment, but of course, need to have that close follow-up. Whereas other patients, we need to make sure that we keep them treated, and keep them within our system, and we don't lose sight of that. Because if, you know, another crisis were to happen in the future, I think we could be better equipped now to make sure that we're not losing track of those patients, and that we're opening the correct channels to make sure that these patients who need our expertise are getting the evaluation and management that they need.