NANOS Heroes - Dr. Lynn Gordon


Lynn Gordon, MD, PhD

Ophthalmology or Neurology? Ophthalmology, board certified

What was the best clinical pearl you learned in fellowship?
Perhaps the two best pearls that I learned and remain true today:  1) Take a really thorough history and listen to the patient, they will often lead you to the diagnosis.  2) When the neuroradiologist says: “normal” go and look for yourself, they can make an addendum.

What are the top 3 things you’ve learned over the last 5 years?
Well, I left fellowship a long time ago, much longer than 5 years.  1) Keep up to date with the changing faces of diagnostics and therapeutics.  Patient presentations may appear stable over time but the decision trees change both in how we make diagnoses and optimize therapy. 
2) Emotional intelligence is critically important, understanding your own style and valuing other individuals' styles improve the doctor-patient relationship as well as your relationships with others.
3) Value your relationships with and respect for colleagues and trainees – get involved in organizations, improve your teaching methods, approach challenges with humility. 

Tell us about your involvement with NANOS! I have been a member for more than 25 years.  When I first joined NANOS it was daunting to be surrounded by so much brilliance, and I had a bit of the “imposter syndrome” but my initial attendance at the women in neuro-ophthalmology luncheons gave me some confidence to volunteer to become involved.  

Since those first few years I have participated in numerous committees including: membership, research, education, Frank B. Walsh, patient information, FFS/NANOS grant review, women in neuro-ophthalmology, and nominating committee.  I am a past chair of the Neuro-ophthalmology Pilot Grant Program and the research committee. I was a prior nominee from NANOS to the leadership development program of the American Academy of Ophthalmology which I completed in 2008 and I was a member of the NANOS Board from 2012-2015.  

My professional and personal life has been greatly enriched by my friendships and activities in NANOS.  Along the way I met incredible individuals who mentored me, colleagues who educated me, shared incredible meals, traveled to wonderful places, and received more from these interactions than I gave.

What would you say to members who want to be more involved in NANOS? Just do it  (apologies if this invokes athleticism). Really, just volunteer and get involved.

What do you know at this stage in your career that you wish you knew when you first joined NANOS? As noted earlier I was initially intimidated by those in NANOS --- really everyone is talented and you should just participate to whatever level you can.  Your professional life will be greatly enriched by your active involvement in NANOS and you can give back and help others feel welcomed and included.

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