April 12, 2019 Conference
In their seminal 1982 paper, “Why Do Some People Go Blind From Glaucoma,” Grant and Burke discussed the importance of personalizing glaucoma care to the needs of each patient and the severity of glaucoma. In the intervening 37 years, we have learned much more about not only the individual response to glaucoma but how our society and health care system play important roles in determining the course of glaucoma in patients. Using a “failure mode” analysis, we can identify opportunities where patients with glaucoma can be better screened, care initiated, follow-up care provided and social resources mobilized to reduce the burden of glaucoma-related vision loss not only for individuals but for our population in the United States and globally. In leading a team approach to care, we can also rediscover the joys of practicing medicine that will keep our profession vigorous and patient-focused amidst the tremendous changes underway in medicine and health care. By asking “why,” we can find new ways of addressing long-standing challenges so that glaucoma will no longer be the second leading cause of blindness (first among blacks) in the United States.