On any given day, I am up before the sun. By the 7-o’clock hour, I’ve already checked and responded to emails, finished a 1- to 2-hour run or bike, and taken a quick shower before wrangling my two daughters from their beds. We hustle through brushing teeth, getting dressed, combing hair, and making and eating breakfast, and then we are out the door. It is a hectic morning routine, but most days we still find time for a quick snuggle or a hearty laugh.
With the girls dropped off at daycare, I rush to work while doing my makeup at stoplights. (Yes, I know—not smart! But every second more I can have with my children in the morning I take, even if it means daringly multitasking.) In the office I work diligently, ticking off as many items from my to-do list as possible, and lunchtime is often spent taking a quick trip to the grocery store or squeezing in a second workout of the day, especially if I am in season and training for my next race.
By the time my workday is through I am already exhausted, yet I still have what CRST Europe publisher and my good friend Gaynor Morrison calls the second shift—the time after work spent cooking and cleaning up from dinner, playing with the kids, and helping them with baths and bedtime routines. This is definitely the time of day I most look forward to; I unwind and get silly with my kids by having dance parties, playing games and using our imaginations, or cuddling on the couch and reading books.
And as many of you understand, there is often a third shift—another round of emails or work to do, some more loose ends to tie up, a grocery list to make, or family correspondence to take care of. Our life responsibilities truly are almost never-ending.
About a year ago, I was talking to a colleague in our office’s kitchen about the responsibilities that come along with having a young family, and I laughingly commented that if people knew all that I do before 8 am they would call me crazy. That thought percolated and grew into the idea behind this cover focus on exploring the daily lives of ophthalmologists.
On the following pages, 11 surgeons have graciously provided glimpses into their daily routines, from the time they wake up in the morning to the time they crawl into bed at night. We’ve also included results from an online survey that we posted to our social media accounts, to which many of you responded. In addition, some of our contributors have also recorded a video diary to further illustrate their typical day, and I encourage you to log onto eyetube.net/series/day-in-the-life to check them out. Some images from those videos are featured on the following page.
The craziness of my life is nothing compared with what you accomplish every single day. I am in awe of your ability to make such an impact in your patients’ lives and balance this heavy responsibility with your family lives, your hobbies, your passions, and your dreams. I hope you enjoy this series as much as I have enjoyed putting it together.
—Laura Straub, Editor-in-Chief