WHETHER YOU TRY HARDER OR DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT, Just Do It or Just Say No, Let Your Fingers Do the Walking or Squeeze the Charmin, Bring Good Things to Life or Put a Tiger in Your Tank, Reach Out and Touch Someone or Raise Your Hand If You're Sure, Sometimes Feel Like a Nut or Sometimes Don't, you're starting with two strikes against you in today's world without a snappy slogan, tagline or catch-phrase. That's what my marketing friends tell me, anyway.

Whether anyone's behavior is ever actually impacted by these phrases is questionable. As tempting as it is to think that a "Just Take It" campaign might increase compliance with drug therapy, in the end, unfortunately, what appears to play the greatest role in influencing behavior is old-fashioned, time-consuming patient education.

There are few areas of medicine where this is more important than glaucoma. And few, apparently, that need more reinforcement. Dr. Alan Robin published a study last month in Ophthalmology that, among others, uncovered this disturbing statistic: While 90 percent of their doctors believe that glaucoma patients are following the prescribed treatment, 47 percent of patients receiving glaucoma therapy do not comply with the prescribed medicine regimen.

The Gordian Knot that is compliance certainly has no single cause or cure. But as Dr. Robin's study suggests, whatever you're doing now may not be working. Among the fine contributions to this month's Annual Glaucoma Issue is Dr. Rob Noecker's article that addresses his approach to this problem. You may or may not find anything surprising or new in it, but if you're treating glaucoma patients, it's well worth the read.

On a happier note, cataract surgeons this month can celebrate another, somewhat surprising but nonetheless welcome instance of old-fashioned, time-consuming education. In a moment of clarity, CMS has decided to allow Medicare patients who choose to do so to pay a portion of their expenses for newer-technology IOLs. Educating these federal decision-makers has been a long and laborious process, and the implications of their decision about the role of patient payment in Medicare has implications that go far beyond ophthalmology.

Those who shouldered that task have reason to be proud. I'm excluding scores of them, with apologies, but two that I'm aware of who did some heavy lifting are Andy Corley, of Eyeonics, and Andy Stapars of AMO. Think kindly of them when you do your first billing.