Podcast: Dr. Mark Bullimore

I recently sat down with Dr. Mark Bullimore to discuss his perspective on myopia management.

You can check out our full conversation here, or by searching "EyeCode Media" in your favorite podcast app.

Read the transcript here:

[00:00:00] Mark: [00:00:00] I know how that goes. Yeah. Yeah. Nice. Nice, nice. It is a blazer you're aware, narrow. It was kind of like I had to do a double-take. It's like, have you got a, you got your flannel shirt on over the top. There it's just a blazer that looks like a flatter. It is a blazer that looks like a fan flasher.

[00:00:21] Chris: [00:00:21] Thanks

[00:00:21] for that. I appreciate it.

[00:00:25] Yeah. I, I've got, on Thursdays, I've got a business meeting, so it's where I get to still, even in COVID, you know, we keep separated, but. We physically go someplace. So I throw on something that looks decent.

[00:00:35] Mark: [00:00:35] Yeah, no, it's good. Actually, the reason I was a few minutes late, I was watching a webinar, that was hosted by my, my high school.

[00:00:45]in the UK. but the guy who was speaking and answering questions was, infectious disease, doc Harvard, who's, you know, the front line of sort of treating patients and sort of, you know, obviously in the Northeast. So they were at the sharp end of the sword, or steer, whatever the, the phrases, anyway, but that, he's, he sort of heads up the sort of infectious disease vaccine program there.

[00:01:09] So it was fascinating to, to hear his comments on a whole host of issues and talking about, you know, where, where things are on vaccines and what we're likely to see, you know, it's just going to be like the flu, where are we going to need to vaccine every year? every year cause of mutations or, you know, so it was, it was, it was great.

[00:01:33] And he wants his perspective on that. probably, yeah. I mean, that was, you know, if possibly yes. and you know, there's going to be, you know, there's going to be some. There's going to be not only the, the baseline anti vaccine, community. This is me talking now. but, also on top of that, the sort of deniers, that, you know, this is a, this is a thing, about, you know, change of administration may change.

[00:01:59] People's thinking on that. but you know, you've got, gotta get the 40, 50% of people vaccinated in order to get the kind of. Sort of, population wide benefits that you need. and you know, but he thinks, you know, we'll, you know, they're going to in the U S they're gonna be, vaccinate and, you know, health workers and, first responders by the end of the year.

[00:02:23] And then, you know, things work sort of. Move forward into vulnerable populations and so on and so forth. So it's, it was, it was interesting, you know, to get it, you know, he also have a slide on what treatments work with that, you know? So dexamethazone been sort of the only one he had a phone. Yes. And he said, you know, we give that to all our patients.

[00:02:44] Yeah. Anybody admitted to, to our hospital with COVID, that's what we get. Yeah. Hydroxychloroquine yeah, no, the, whatever it is does MFA, their ambassador here. Yeah. Maybe, you know, it's sort of doesn't do any harm, but it, you know, it doesn't. but yeah, it's, it's, it's benefits sort of is, are, you know, I'm Claire.

[00:03:08]so it was, it was interesting to hear, again, somebody who's both a scientist and a front line, infectious disease doc, talking about, you know, This is what we do. you know, basically, yeah, mass general

[00:03:22] Chris: [00:03:22] was his impression that they're getting better at treating

[00:03:24] Mark: [00:03:24] it as well. Like they, Oh yeah. I mean, absolutely.

[00:03:27]you know, he said, he'd said privately to me, you know, initially they were just flailing around not knowing what to do, and you can see that the infection rates have exploded, but the death rates are relatively flat in terms of. Yeah, the population, but in terms of mortality rates are in fact the person, you know, doing a whole lot better because yeah, in part, because

[00:03:57] Chris: [00:03:57] hello and welcome to the Chris Wolfe podcast on EyeCode Media.

[00:04:01] This next series of conversations is going to be broken up into two episodes and two weeks. So it is with dr. Mark Bullmore who, I originally sat down to have a conversation with him

[00:04:13] about his research

[00:04:15] into myopia management. And the impact of myopia management, but the reason I'm briefly breaking this down into two parts is because we actually had a great conversation about academia and the differences and nuances in different academic institutions.

[00:04:29] So I thought that was a really interesting conversation and that will be this week's conversation and next week's conversation. we really get into the details of myopia, the management that was really illuminating. So stay tuned next week as

[00:04:40] well.

[00:04:41] Please enjoy our conversation as always. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast, write us a review, share it with your friends and support those

[00:04:49] who support us.

[00:04:56] We've been providing myopia control treatments in our practice for years. If you've been listening to the podcast for awhile, Cooper vision has received FDA approval. Of it's innovative my site one day contact lens. This will be the cornerstone of a comprehensive myopia management approach to be offered by CooperVision this daily where single use contact lens is the first and only FDA approved product clinically proven to slow the progression of myopia when initially prescribed for children eight to 12 years old.

[00:05:25] And when compared to children in the control group, wearing a single vision one day contact lens. Check out the show notes for all the specific prescribing details and to get more information about this lens, how you can begin to offer it in your practice.

[00:05:39] Mark: [00:05:39] That's unbelievable what that does to a mortality, right?

[00:05:42] When you look at the data and I have my. I'm on, I'm on the jammer. yeah, for a variety of reasons. Gemma Maven list. And I routinely, I don't print out, very many complete papers, but, you know, I have my sort of editorials viewpoints, so you can, you know, there's one on school closures. Oh yeah.

[00:06:09] Post-approval vaccine safety, you know, just, stuff that is intended for the general medical community. But of course it's eminently digestible from people like us with just enough knowledge. Dangerous and yeah. So talking about, yeah, so there was another I drugs, trial published this week. I haven't read the editorial yet, but it says, you know, basically the title of the editorial is white.

[00:06:40] You still talking about this? Yeah. Yeah. And, but again, that's, that's, that's that? So, yeah, when the, generally what, What happens with these webinars is they'll post the link so that you can watch it, sort of, off the later date, I'll send that because he's a, he's a, is he was an engaging speaker and there's a lot of preamble.

[00:07:04] It's like 20 minutes of talking about school and talking about people who influenced him. Visiting the principal's office and things like this, but then it gets into the sort of the meta, the, and yeah. Reminded people of how we got here in terms of George Washington and understanding herd immunity, and Jenna with smallpox cowpox, and moving on from, from, from there,

[00:07:30] Chris: [00:07:30] I'd love to listen to it.

[00:07:32] Mark: [00:07:32] Yeah, no, it's, it's it's, you know, I like. General science general, you know, I have sort of podcasts. I listened to some of them assigns. I like Freakonomics and whatever the, Malcolm Gladwell series,

[00:07:45] Chris: [00:07:45] three history reinvented or

[00:07:48] Mark: [00:07:48] revision. Yeah. Yeah. And again, it's, you know, some of those are just like, wow.

[00:07:56]including, you know, I mean, I'm embarrassed to say this sort of, he did one on Northern Ireland and the British troops and it was like stuff that we didn't talk about. And I wasn't really educated on, in terms of, you know, some of the, I call them atrocities that occurred. and, you know, it was.

[00:08:18] Not people necessarily being sharp, you know, innocent people and women being beaten up by British troops. sort of, yeah. Now in part that's because you got a bunch of, or a young man in a very scary situation, they hadn't been trained to handle, but anyway, it doesn't make it excusable. So, anyway, so how's things you were at, I was on your practice website and the kids you got now, seven, we've got eight.

[00:08:41] I

[00:08:41] Chris: [00:08:41] think we've got them updated on the website.

[00:08:43] Mark: [00:08:43] I didn't sort of jump. And your father's still practicing.

[00:08:49] Chris: [00:08:49] Yeah. He's there a couple days a week. And, and you know,

[00:08:52] Mark: [00:08:52] he,

[00:08:53] Chris: [00:08:53] I, I hope he stays as long as he wants to. I hope he wants to stay longer than, than he may want to. but yeah, it's great. It's great.

[00:09:00] Practicing with them.

[00:09:01] Mark: [00:09:01] Yeah. And, he's my vintage, right. Yeah. Yeah. Actually

[00:09:05] Chris: [00:09:05] he's 62.

[00:09:06] Mark: [00:09:06] All right. Okay. He just looks 10 years younger than me, so I'm 58, so, yeah. Huh. So, you

[00:09:14] Chris: [00:09:14] know, I think our first encounter, you probably don't remember this, but it's always interesting. and one of the reasons I started at a podcast is, one of the reasons I started doing the podcast is because I got to, I just had experiences like.

[00:09:26] Rubbing up against people in our profession that are doing things that I think are pretty cool. And my first encounter with you was I was a student, so it must've been a,

[00:09:34] Mark: [00:09:34] and I got a, a

[00:09:36] Chris: [00:09:36] scholarship or a travel grant or something to, to the

[00:09:39] Mark: [00:09:39] Academy. yeah, so it would have been, yeah, I think you were at the time president of, ISA and, yeah, I think it was maybe through the Zeiss program.

[00:09:51] You were those recipients or may have been something else. I can't remember. Yeah. That's the first time we interacted and you know, one of the. Nice things about working through the foundation of being involved in the Academy is you get to meet a number of, up-and-comers people who are really, got fire in their belly about the profession and whether that leads them to, you know, service at the state or national level, or going into academia or whatever.

[00:10:21] That was one of the, you know, the pleasures of doing that and made it, you know, just, just meet in some incredibly, motivated, young, smart, eloquent people. So, you know, I look back sort of, Yeah. on that, I'm trying to remember about the same time. Who was the guy from UAB? Jay?

[00:10:38] Chris: [00:10:38] Yeah. Jamie.

[00:10:39] Yeah, he's doing great. I get to see him

[00:10:41] Mark: [00:10:41] from time to time too. Yeah. I'm trying to think who else I got to, interact with in that sort of period anyway, but it was, it's good. And, and AOSA is a tremendous organization and, Yeah, really? Yeah. A breeding ground for, you know, people who have the potential to go on and do amazing things.

[00:11:01] The other thing that's been. that really sort of followed on from that way, the attendance of the Academy meeting by students, just, just gone. and do

[00:11:11] Chris: [00:11:11] you think that's directly related to the AOSA or to, to professors that are talking about how important Academy is or what, what are your thoughts on that?

[00:11:20] Mark: [00:11:20] I think it's a host of factors. I think moving the, moving the meeting forward a month or two. Makes it more accessible? I think, you know, like so many things, it's word of mouth and buzz. so, you know, people. Yeah. Used to, you know, students used to go obviously to the ARSA IOA made it. but you know, it's like, Hey, there's this other cool meeting and you can go to a, has a different flavor, but, you know, and I think it's just word of mouth.

[00:11:52] And, you know, at the same time, I think, schools and colleges, supporting and encouraging it. So it a host of factors that have, again, it's, it's changed the F it changed the feel of the Academy meeting because you know, all of a sudden you had, you know, maybe 25% of the attendees, I may be exaggerating, but.

[00:12:14] Yeah. you know, a significant proportion of the Academy meeting attendees when our students and

[00:12:23] Chris: [00:12:23] then the fellowship members.

[00:12:25]Mark: [00:12:25] again, I think, you know, fellowship numbers of sort of. increased. I mean, it's, I, I, even with the PA when the sort of, you know, the virtual meeting, I think there was maybe 300 new fellows, so it's, it's been one of those things that is, how shall I say, reinvigorated or strengthen the Academy?

[00:12:46]so that's, you know, so my involvement is now limited. I have. every now and again, somebody sort of says, Hey, you got any interest in doing the audit with the Academy and sign out. I've done. My I've done my tour of duty. And you know, when I did it, I was enthusiastic about it. I wouldn't bring the assignment.

[00:13:05] And she, now that somebody else would. Because it would be my second time.

[00:13:10] Chris: [00:13:10] Isn't that interesting? What, why do you think that's the case where, I think it is human nature to feel like you've got, you've got this kind of,


[00:13:18] potent energy to be able to kind of drive into something. But at some point,

[00:13:22] Mark: [00:13:22] most of us are,

[00:13:24] Chris: [00:13:24] I don't know if our focus either shifts or we feel like we've done what we can do, or

[00:13:28] Mark: [00:13:28] like.

[00:13:29] What, what do you think that's from? yeah, I think as you said, it is even nature. There is a sort of been there, done that, you know, you know, on, you know, from a financial point of view, you know, I keep giving to the Academy, my Alma mater my high school, and meaningful ways, that doesn't stop. so the, the, the desire to support institutions doesn't go away.

[00:13:53] But, you know, I, I, I say, you know, being editor of a journal, I mean, I came in at a crisis time for the Academy journal and, you know, had to sort of devote a lot of myself to it. and I could do it again. And I get asked if I was interested in, you know, serving on this journal, that journal, but. Yeah. I still believe in the cause I still believe in, you know, I have, yeah, I'm supportive of whatever an organization wants to achieve, but you know, I'm not, you know, I don't have the energy level that really, Makes me want to do it again.

[00:14:34] And I've seen enough leaders and volunteers who have low energy. You don't want to be that guy. I don't want to be. Yeah. I mean, it's hard to,

[00:14:48] Chris: [00:14:48] it's hard to know. I think when you've got, when

[00:14:51] Mark: [00:14:51] you're.

[00:14:52] Chris: [00:14:52] Time's up. That's not the right term, but it's probably the term that's coming to mind is like,

[00:14:56] Mark: [00:14:56] you know, when

[00:14:57] Chris: [00:14:57] I realized like, Oh, you know, I've done, I've done this stuff I can do.

[00:15:00] I've done this stuff. I'm passionate about it. I need to probably pull back and let somebody else

[00:15:03] Mark: [00:15:03] work on it. Yeah. I mean, and I, you know, I did, I use as editor of the journal and. Yeah, for the last three, it was kind of, wasn't so much Mark in time, but it was like, okay. I, I, all the initiatives I'd thought about coming in and then the ideas I had I've implemented them.

[00:15:25] You know, the last three is the main thing we did was to take in taking the review process completely online and go into these, yeah. Manuscript manager. Platforms that are now ubiquitous. so that sort of got me through the last few years in terms of, you know, tweaking and might keep it interesting.

[00:15:42]but yeah, it's the same with, how shall I say, you know, I, I know it about myself and one of my mentors was kind of a sign that, you know, in, in research and science it's like, once I know the answer is okay. we're good. yeah, I might get around to publishing it. But, you know, my curiosity has been satisfied and you know, my follow through is not as good as it should be for, Somebody in that sort of, or any field.

[00:16:08]and there was the same with, when I, you graduated in the late noughties, is that right? Well, no,

[00:16:14] Chris: [00:16:14] no. I've been in 2008,

[00:16:15] Mark: [00:16:15] 2008. Yeah.

[00:16:20]that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. It's that sort of British sort of tongue in cheek, a double entendre. So, yeah, so I was still at Ohio state. But I left the summer of 2011 and yeah, that time I was, how shall I say, you know, took about, yeah, don't want to be that guy. You know, I was worried, even though I hadn't yet turned 50, that I was turning into the person I despised.

[00:16:50] Yeah. You probably had a few people when you were, Tahlequah people, you know, The people who got you enthusiastic about what you're doing, but perhaps sort of, some of the younger bucks was nice in there. It was nice. He

[00:17:03] Chris: [00:17:03] was a, I think he was a year. He was, he was in my class at Pacific. So he was, he went to Pacific when I went to Calico and then he did a, he did a residency in

[00:17:12] Mark: [00:17:12] Tahlequah a year.

[00:17:13] Right? Use an Amazon, an example of somebody who's, you know, a young gun who. Probably really gets the students excited now. Whereas, you know, there might've been people sort of older or kind of, you know, anyway, so I was worried that yeah, I was becoming the older academic who was kind of a waste of space.

[00:17:34]so yeah. And in part, it was, it brought to a head. I was a finalist for the Dean's position at UAB. it would be end of 2010. And, the analogy I, I use, I said is it was kind of like having an affair. not that I would understand such a thing. I've never been married, so I've never had an affair, seen hundreds.

[00:17:55]but anyway, the, you know, when I was going through the process, Oh, you know, I'm excited about this there's opportunities here. There's people, you know, that I could mentor. And, you know, I turned around and sort of looked at what I was doing at Ohio state. And it's like, yeah, I'm not quite, as you know, I don't have the same enthusiasm about this job.

[00:18:19] So even before the decision was made and I didn't get the position, I'd said to the girlfriend, does your, you know, whether I get this job or not, I think I'm looking to leave Ohio state, which I ended up doing, because I had a. Yeah, an opportunity or a stepping stone, if you like into, the independent world with a sort of half-time, position with a drug company, And yeah, so basically, I mean, you know, I was a tenured full professor on a six figure salary for life.

[00:18:54] Okay. So some people thought, you know, what are you crazy? but you know, unlike you, I, you know, I didn't have any kids, which would have been a consideration. I had. strategically when I joined OSU, I had the option between a 401k plan and a defined benefit plan. You know, traditional know the defined benefit plan is the golden handcuffs because it incentivize you to stay there forever because your retirement is based on final three years of salary, or top three years of salary.

[00:19:26] Plus your. And then, sorry. Plus your year times, your years of service times are multiply. So, you know, if I had stayed there till 65, I would have, you know, retired very comfortably. Had I been on that plan? but being on the sort of portable four Oh one option. It made it more feasible to leave. So, and you know, I've gotten dragged back into academia sort of once or twice since then.

[00:19:55] I was Dean at SCCO for a year and, you know, realized that the little institutions very different from Ohio state and Berkeley, right. Spent a collective 23 years.

[00:20:09] Chris: [00:20:09] Can you elaborate on that? In what ways? I think there's, you know, you don't notice there's a lot of us that wouldn't understand what you mean by, you know, maybe being a, a small piece in the entire wheel of the university versus just having, you know, just a health professions.

[00:20:24] Is that what you're talking?

[00:20:25] Mark: [00:20:25] Yeah. I mean, it's, the. Yeah. When you were at, when you were at Ohio state, okay. Berkeley's a different, different animal together, but you know, your, your you're on a campus with tens of thousands of students. There's a football team, a basketball team. There's a hospital there's, you know, a mature and robust sort of faculty structure.

[00:20:53]and yeah, there are. Expectations in terms of, you know, teaching re research, scholarship, and service that, you know, run across the entire institution and, you know, sort of, you know, certainly for myself, I was strong in all of those areas. and know the people there. Yeah. Wanted a career in academia that sort of reflected on all of those.

[00:21:29] When you were at a smaller institution. Obviously the primary mission is teaching, and you know, bringing in a hundred students every year and, you know, training them and the, you know, the faculty focuses on, on that. You know, scholarship is nice, but. Nope, job number one. so know the other thing is, is everything's sort of compressed.

[00:21:51] So, you know, I could go and listen to the president of OSU once a year, talk to a faculty forum. you know, I'd have some in back with the provost office, the office of academic affairs, but not much, you know, in a smaller institution, you, you sort of in much closer quarters to those, those people and, you know, whereas yeah, the I'm choosing my words carefully here.

[00:22:17] I can tell where it didn't matter at Ohio state. Who the president was, it made zero impact to my daily job. Okay. In a small institution, it matters. It matters who the head of HR is. It matters who the head of student affairs, it matters. You know, those things have a far greater impact on you. And, you know, the other thing is, you know, your having sort of spent.

[00:22:49] Many years within a culture coming into a different culture. and you know, trying to sort of, I wouldn't say change the culture, but, fresh in it. Is is, is a challenge. Anyway,

[00:23:06] Chris: [00:23:06] is there any, is there any backed on research, you know, ability to get, grants, ability to get, versus a smaller school?

[00:23:13]Mark: [00:23:13] yeah, I mean, obviously. highest state Berkeley, get up, you know, they have the infrastructure to support it and it's part of their mission. now, you know, just take in some of the private schools, there are, there are people like, you know, Mitch Shyman, over in, Pennsylvania, you know, there's people at new England college, Sue Carter, and some other people down at SCCO have been incredibly successful.

[00:23:39]specifically in the area of patient based research. So there's, you know, I think at the end of the day there are, you know, it comes down to the individual you're trained in the ideas that you have. but you know, the infrastructure, the expectations, the support systems. so, you know, one of the things that was, I tried to address that as CCO is that.

[00:24:03] There, there wasn't a way for the institution or the investigators to spend their money. So there was this sort of war, chest sit in there, but nobody had figured out how to. Leverage and yeah, so I sort of said, Hey, you know, as you might do in terms of incentivizing your staff, it's like, Hey, you give me some of that money.

[00:24:29] I'll let you. Have some of it yourself. you know, so, you know, it's sort of, kind of, you know, putting in my, put an in place, some sort of bonus structure and at a place where, you know, salaries were not perhaps what they could or should be relative to some of the new programs that have been developed or, you know, compared to the cost of living in Southern California.

[00:24:52] It's like, okay, you know, We have the money. So, but again, you know, people were suspicious about that. Okay. You don't want another 10,000 on your salary, you know? Okay.

[00:25:07] Chris: [00:25:07] Why do you think so suspicious is an interesting word. Why, why do you use that

[00:25:11] Mark: [00:25:11] term? because I think whenever you have an outsider coming into, an institution, there is that level of, you know, sort of, you know, it's like.

[00:25:21] Let's take politics as an example of Biden socialist, you know, we're gonna, we're gonna, you know, we're going to be in Nazi Germany, or we're going to be, you know, we're gonna turn into Venezuela, you know, it's like, you know, there's, there's that kind of, you know, like kind of a thing. Yeah. I saw it when I moved from Berkeley to Ohio state, it was, Oh, yeah, it's sort of, you know, he's not one of us, even what was the, yeah.

[00:25:50]you know, they were nervous about, you know, because a higher state of benefit kind of insular place know the only people in the graduate program or a highest state graduates. and then, Kelly Nichols and Jeff Wallin came to the graduate program as Berkeley grads. Oh. You know, would they be able to teach our methods labs?

[00:26:12] The optometry's, you know, they have, Oh, but would they teach it the right way? The

[00:26:20] Chris: [00:26:20] Ohio state way.

[00:26:22] Mark: [00:26:22] Well, yeah, just kind of, you know, it's funny actually, cause I've seen this through other interactions, the people who teach the refraction, you know, that, that part of the curriculum or the most sort of opinionated and setting out ways, people, you know, you can't even, you know, you know, you, you know, you, you can have 20 people in the room and have 20 different opinions on.

[00:26:45] What is, you know, you can't even have a discussion on some things and, but that's yeah, that's academia. I mean, they, when I was chair of the curriculum committee at Ohio state, you know, I had to, you know, I wasn't looking at grades as such, but I had to sign off on, a database of grading that went off to the oat people.

[00:27:11] So they could see whether, you know, they were testing the right skills and how they reflected upon, an individual's performance in optometry school anyway. But, you know, so all of a sudden I've got this data in front of me and I'm looking at it and it's like, you know, some of us grade very differently than other people.

[00:27:32] So, you know, some of my colleagues might give, 80% of the class and eight. Right. And other colleagues might give 20%. All right. Now I don't know which is right. But as a college, I thought we should at least discuss it.

[00:27:54]but again, you know, it's what should be our, you know, should you have an override and you shouldn't have a quota system, but it's like, you know, it's like, you know, I didn't have an answer. I didn't, you know, I didn't come to the, I didn't come to the discussion with an agenda of. Oh, we need to, we need to have a regimented grading scheme.

[00:28:19] It's like, but shouldn't, we at least discuss it. Yeah.

[00:28:25] Chris: [00:28:25] You've spent a lot of time in academia, but, but I always kind of think of you as a guy that likes to maybe break things might not be the exact right term, but

[00:28:36] Mark: [00:28:36] yeah.

[00:28:36] Chris: [00:28:36] Well, I mean, you know, I think, and I think that's so then how did you last so long?

[00:28:41] Doing those things, asking them the questions you're not supposed to ask.

[00:28:45] Mark: [00:28:45] Well, I mean, it's no, I mean, I, you know, I'm definitely norm challenging, but know, not because I want to break something, but I want to make it better. And, Yeah. it's an aspirational approach rather than anything that is yeah.

[00:29:06] The grading detrimental destructive. but yeah, I mean, how did I last 15 years with those sort of shackles? Well, the point is that, you know, I was able to teach the way I wanted to teach and the way I thought, you know, and I enjoyed, I mean, yeah, One of the things I miss most about academia is interactions with the student because the students are kind of small proportion of the students drive you nuts.

[00:29:33] Yeah. and, but, you know, generally it's, it's the most nourishing part of what you do as an academic, because, you know, you're, you're shaping the future of the profession, but also you're, you're in a position to. influence impact, you know, individuals career trajectories. so yeah, yeah, I mean, there, you know, the times when it was frustration, but you know, again with, you know, when you're tenured, you can voice those frustrations, without fear of retribution, and.

[00:30:08] Yeah. The times, you know, administrators, you know, the, you know, people on the, you know, the Dean's team, it's like, you know, you could say, you know what, this person's out of line. that's not okay. which you can do in a. A large institution, because it's part of the culture, you know, in a small company or a small institution, or even in the professional organization, you may not be able to do that.

[00:30:34] Do you think

[00:30:35] Chris: [00:30:35] that still exists? Do you think that today that you can still do that? Like you could end years

[00:30:40] Mark: [00:30:40] ago? Are there things that, I mean, you know, there's political correctness, but you can certainly. You know, in terms of, you know, what this isn't right, or this isn't being handled. Right. I think you can still do that.

[00:30:54] And I generally think, you know, you know, we've got leaders, that, yeah, they don't welcome being challenged, but they accepted, you know, I mean, people like Nick Flanagan. People who are, you know, deans of major large institutions. I think they, you know, they, they, they, they accept that sort of dialogue because, you know, you, you, you get to a better solution.

[00:31:31] If you have a diversity of ideas, even if you end up, you know, decline in certain paths, the, the discussion and having the ability to have a, an open discussion, well, issues is, is, is important. and yeah, again, going back to sort of listening to a Freakonomics and other things, you know, there are a lot in the modern workplace.

[00:32:00]Yeah, whole foods, Netflix, Netflix in particular is a very non-hierarchical organization in terms of, you know, everybody's evaluating everybody, you know, there's this sort of three 60 degree sort of. Ongoing review where, you know, everybody gets to septet to say whether they think people above them, below them, alongside them are doing a good job.

[00:32:29]so there are companies that are, and cultures and the same in academia that, you know, You, you, you do get to say what you think of the way things are, how things have gone. So I don't know. I mean, I've, I've been out of, as I say, mainstream academia now for over nine years. essentially I still have an academic job because there are companies who pay me to do what I enjoy doing.

[00:32:59]in terms of designing studies review and studies writing. Papers, you know, serving on advisory boards, so many respects, it's, you know, it's, it's the nicest part of my old academic life without having to go to meetings and write grants and, you know, deal with some of the other beers. I don't have the students, but I, you know, even then I can still, you know, I still indirect, you know, I just printed out a paper for my, Academic granddaughter.

[00:33:30] So the PhD student of my former PhD student, who, you know, is asking by how revising or repurpose in a manuscript, it's like, yeah. Okay, great. I can do that. and the same with, other, People are I still get the opportunity to mentor, even if I'm not dealing with a class of optometry students anymore.

[00:33:49] So I have a pretty charmed life right now. And one that hasn't unlike your own business, been that affected by the current pandemic. You know, my, my work is largely sitting here at, at home, and,

[00:34:03] Chris: [00:34:03] you're in you.

[00:34:05] Mark: [00:34:05] Yeah. So what you're looking at there is the, that was the view a couple of mornings ago with the sun coming up.

[00:34:11] So we're, so Boulder and Denver down amongst the clouds here. and, but my normal view is that, so that's what I'm looking at now. so those are the flat lines of Boulder. So we're at 7,000 feet. So we're about 1600 feet above. Boulder and Denver, six miles out of town. so social distance in is easy for us.

[00:34:34]so yeah, most of the time it's just Beverly and me here and we both work from home anyway, when we're not traveling. So we work from home and we, We deal with doing stuff, but, yeah. So that's what it really looks like.

[00:34:48]Chris: [00:34:48] what kind of research were you doing back in 2008? Like, what was your research?

[00:34:54]Mark: [00:34:54] yeah, back then, you know, myopia has been along standard interests. but you know, I had a diversity of interests and, you know, the research. I got into was driven a little bit by the PhD students I had and what they wanted to do. So, you know, people, I trained, you know, Brett Dowdy, who's on the faculty at OSU.

[00:35:15] Now he did his PhD was on, bioptic drive in and low vision. Kathryn Rich style. Was on accommodation and you including measure image seven Tesla MRI. So again, it's like you're on the OSU campus. You could do these weird and wonderful things. Michael twat did, sort of data mining, you know, some very sort of fashionable now.

Tune in next week for the conclusion of our conversation!