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Humans, Happiness, and the Wonder of New

Speakers: Richard J. Mackool MD

Tags: ASCRS Innovators Session, 2013, Annual Meeting, ASCRS MediaCenter

While ophthalmology has changed dramatically since my first exposure to the specialty, the intellectual process that facilitated those changes remains the same. The need to clearly identify medical and surgical challenges, and to maintain a healthy dissatisfaction with the status quo, is essential to medical practice. More importantly, a constant battle against complacency -- against allowing 'good enough' to be good enough -- is essential to every aspect of life. It is clear that the sense of excitement and accomplishment experienced by mankind when astronauts landed on the moon was not due to the drab lunar landscape. Rather it was the ingenuity of the human mind and our unique ability not only to accept daunting challenges but our desire to seek them out that inspired us all. (After reading this I hope you will see a phaco machine and a three stage NASA rocket as very similar at their core.) I have been privileged to be an ophthalmologist from the time of the first Phaconauts. My lecture will be as much about the journey as the stops along the way.