The news came on a typical busy Thursday. Interrupting the steady hum of checking retinal images, office procedures, and patient exams, a simple post-it note was handed to me with the news. Suddenly, it was like the world stopped. I knew she had not been feeling well, but losing her was like losing family. I had known Frances for over 10 years and had nursed her aging eyes with monthly treatments for her macular degeneration. I knew where she grew up and what foods she liked.
Congrats to all the recent graduates! This year is particular special because my former medical technician, Tyler Capello, just graduated Drexel Medical School Class of 2021. A little over 4 years ago, Tyler was working as my medical assistant while he applied to med school. It was his first time working in a clinical environment but I already knew he would become a great doctor. I still remember the day when we did mock interviews for his upcoming med school interviews. Time
“How are you doing these days?” is the first thing I ask my elderly patients during this age of pandemic. Of course I want to know about their eyes. But before that, we talk as if I am chatting with my grandma. Most of my patients these days are ones I’ve known for years. These are the patients who come regularly for in-office treatments to prevent blindness (e.g. Anti-VEGF injections for macular degeneration). These are the patients who still come despite the risks of the on
Earlier this month, when the first cases of COVID-19 were being reported in NY, there were massive shortages of hand sanitizer. People were starting to panic and online price gouging was rampant. In response to this, my friend Joseph Quartana, who owns Six Scents Parfumes,
retooled his factory and started producing FDA-approved hand sanitizer. Other perfume companies around the world are following suit. It’s great to see private companies doing their part during this pandemic
I recently celebrated the holiday season with a festive dinner with the team. I am grateful for many things this holiday season, especially the fact that my coworkers are amazing! Having a good #WorkFam is so important. Here I am with my team of medical technicians, ophthalmic photographers, and scribes. I call them the A-team! This includes my two newest coworkers, Jeff and Arielle. Everyone is doing an amazing job! Happy Holidays to you! #grateful #thankful #happyholidays
At first glance, Elva is an unassuming 85 year old woman. But dig deeper and you’ll find out that she worked closely with Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State during the Carter administration. She was part of history (see below). #thankful for the opportunity to care for patients like Elva. #grateful to call her my friend 😊 While the system can make it challenging, health care professionals need to try our best to get to know our patients. #positivevibes #positivevibesonly #green
Unfortunately, modern medicine has not invented cures for everything. Patients can have poor vision despite receiving the latest, greatest treatments. So then what? Here is my approach for patients with “low vision”: ➡ Talk with patients and their families *together*. What is important for quality of life? TV? Reading? What is the desired level of independence? ➡ Try simple tools like ebook readers and iPads. ➡ Referral to an optometrist to optimize glasses. This consultatio
If you run into me this week, you'll see me with a backpack full of gear. It’s because I’m on call for @greenwichhospital and available 24/7 for the emergency department or for inpatient consults. Since @usweekly (for some strange reason) hasn’t approached me yet for a feature in their column, I have decided to self-publish: What’s in my bag? (Clockwise starting from the bottom) Visual Acuity Chart - Essential for any eye exam. Magnifying Lenses - For looking into the eye.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant has been associated with good eye health. Fortunately, in the summertime, foods high in Vitamin C are readily available - and delicious! Here is a pic of my home-grown raspberries. For a bonus, raspberries also contain beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin - all great anti-oxidants which make your eyes happy! No raspberries around? No problem! High levels of vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, brussel sprouts and both re
I am honored to be named one of New York Magazine's Best Doctors 2019. The New York Magazine's Best Doctors list is based on a peer-reviewed survey of licensed physicians. This year's list includes 1390 physicians in all specialties. Only 51 ophthalmologists are named - and I am one of them! It's such an honour to be recognized publicly. I even bought extra copies to give to my mother! Most importantly, I am eternally grateful to my patients for trusting their eyes to me. #to
When I entered Harvard Medical School, I thought I would go into emergency medicine. It was 1997, George Clooney was a doctor on TV, and it looked so cool. But when I did my Emergency Department rotation, I immediately discovered that I was irritated by all the random beeping noises in the ER. And for some reason, the ER’s bright fluorescent lights bothered me (is it just me, but aren’t they brighter than at other places in the hospital?). Emergency medicine was just not righ
Josh, my medical technician, recently got accepted to medical school. Congrats, Josh! At work, I purposely surround myself with staff who are in health care for the right reason - to help others. I tend to hire awesome people like Josh: someone just out of college, in transition, and hungry to make an impact. They have positive attitudes and learn quickly. When medical assistants eventually move on, I am delighted to see them rise to the next stage of their careers. It makes
Vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines save lives. But why are parents “vaccine-hesitant”? The global comeback of measles and other preventable viruses is extremely worrisome. Over the past few months, over 200 new cases of measles have occurred in the US. Why is this happening? Why are parents “vaccine-hesitant”? Parents only want the best for their children. It’s great that they do their own online research and actively participate in their children's medical
Want more advice on how to protect your eyes from macular degeneration? Well, you're in the right place! A few days ago I created an Instagram post which summarized a very interesting research study on macular degeneration prevention. I often discuss this study with my patients. I feel so strongly about the benefits of preventive medicine that I am reposting it here. Enjoy! Originally posted on Feb 28, 2019 on Instagram @drjerrytsong: Today is the last day of AMD (Age-relat
February is AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) Awareness Month. Let’s talk about prevention. Every day, my patients ask me how to protect their eyes from AMD. Here’s what I tell them: Your eyes love the Mediterranean Diet! It’s associated with 41% reduced risk of developing advanced AMD.* The Mediterranean diet, traditionally observed in countries bordering the Mediterranean sea, is characterized by high consumption of plant foods and fish and low consumption of meat and
AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 50. As a fellowship-trained retinal specialist, I treat AMD every day. It’s a frightening disease, but there are amazing treatments available today.
AMD is a disease which damages the macula, the center-back portion of the eye. At first, it sneaks up on people because there is no pain and no visual symptoms. In advanced cases, people suddenly lose vision and go blind from bleeding insid
Growing up in suburban New Jersey among only a few Asian families, I didn’t know much about Lunar (Chinese) New Year. I didn’t speak Chinese and had never been to Asia. All I knew was that once a year, sometime in February, I would get a few crisp $20 bills tucked in a red envelope. As a kid, I looked forward to the cash and didn’t ask any questions. Only later in college did I learn more about the Lunar New Year. Here’s what I’ve learned: It’s the biggest holiday of the year
As 2019 approaches, it’s time to make our New Year’s resolutions. Rather than setting overly-ambitious short-term goals (daily workouts? Unfortunately, not happening 😋), I like the idea of taking a step back and considering long-term goals #ResolutionsforLife. Here are mine:
* Prioritize personal connections. By nature, I derive energy and happiness by being among friends and family ☺️ Now, finished with medical training, I often find myself so busy with work that weeks or
Instagram and social media has a strange way of making you feel insecure about yourself. Instagram has no shortage of people who are better-looking, more fit or simply cooler than you. The reality is that no one is perfect and everybody has their own flaws. As part of the #perfectlyimperfectdocs campaign (started by my colleagues @dzeyemd and @dr.audreyxsue - nice, guys! 👍), I want to share some things you may not know about me:
I am tone deaf and a terrible singer 🎤 But
In medical training, students or trainees often "shadow" a senior doctor to learn from them. Shadowing simply means following a doctor around and not typically participating in the work #shadowadoc. Here's a taste of my typical day (last Wednesday, to be precise!
7:30AM - Arrive at work. Coffee and say hi to staff ☕
7:45AM - A referring primary care doctor texts me - can I fit in his patient with an eye problem? Sure, of course! 👍
8AM - 12 PM See patients. I have 5 exam