To the Editor:
In reference to Dr. Harold J. Goldfarb's statements in the October 2002 Review of Ophthalmology Review Letters, I tend to disagree with Dr. Goldfarb's statement that the term "annual eye exam" is a "disingenuous way of having a higher flow of patients and puffing up the bottom line promoted by optometrists." In fact I believe the American Academy of Optometry and the American Academy of Ophthalmology actually agree on the recommendations of a complete dilated ophthalmic eye exam every year for patients under the age of 18, every two years for those 18 to 65, and every year for those over 65. The only patients I pre-appoint yearly for a "routine" exam are contact lens wearers who need a complete exam yearly as mandated by the FDA to refill their contact lens prescription.
Dr. Goldfarb's comments sound like those of someone who in today's age of medicolegal issues, falling reimbursements and soaring malpractice premiums is only bitter and continues to live in the dark ages, bad mouth optometry and put himself on a pedestal above optometry.
Dr. Goldfarb should do like many other progressive ophthalmic surgeons have done and join with optometry as a fellow health care provider to fight to make patient care better, more accessible and fight to make sure all doctors get fairly reimbursed for the services we provide. Working together is much more enjoyable for all.
Thomas P. Kislan, OD
Editor's note: The American Academy of Optometry reports that it has taken no position on the frequency of eye exams. The respective guidelines of the American Optometric Association and the American Academy of Ophthalmology may be viewed at http://www.aoanet. org/clincare/primary-exam.asp and http://aao.org/aao/ member/policy/exams.cfm.
The Food and Drug Administration neither regulates nor makes any recommendation on the frequency of eye exams or contact lens exams.