While shaking hands with world-renowned infectious disease guru, Dr. Cal Roberts, I realized that our chosen profession is truly an inclusive society, in which all are welcome and important.

Dr. Roberts and his brilliant colleagues in clinical discovery and education are essential to the future of medicine.

And there I was, a small-town eye doc, sitting on the couch shaking Dr. Roberts hand and learning about the new fluoroquinolones available to combat infection while dressed in a blonde wig and hockey goalie mask.

You see, each of us is important to eye care in our own way. A medical professional of Dr. Roberts stature would not appear on the stage at SECO in Atlanta dressed as Garth from the movie Waynes World.

Likewise, you could not imagine me explaining the intricacies of why antibiotics as efficacious as fluoroquinolones require preservatives.

The good doctor and the class clown each had their role to play at Dr. Paul Ajamians ambitious SECO Live program.

Not that the good Dr. Ajamian was without guilt himself. During the program, he evolved from a John Travolta disco hound into Wayne himself, of the so-named World. He had to conduct intelligent conversations with the lineup of medical all-stars while wearing a wig, cap and all. Me? I ran for backstage as soon as the first bar graph appeared.

I have spoken about SECO many times. The venue is outstanding. The staff is unflappable and professional. The doctor-volunteers and SECO leaders are relentlessly perfect.

The entertainment? How would I know? I was on stage all dressed up and acting like a fool. Was there entertainment?

Yes, there was. For one thing, the exhibits were amazing and appropriately visual given the topic at hand. I spent quite a few hours just wandering the massive exhibit hall. OK, I was lost, but thats beside the point. I just found things impressive and educational, lost or not.

And, the Eye Docs of Rock, Bad Habits, my favorite rock band (besides Led Zeppelin), knocked em dead as usual at Atlantas Hard Rock Caf Friday night. Oh, they allowed some nitwit (and Chairside columnist) to open for them, performing such optometric hits as Ill Never Prescribe Weed for Glaucoma Again. Who would do such a thing?

But thats not all. President Jimmy Carter spoke to the attendees about his many good works. At least I heard he did. I was still lost in the exhibit hall somewhere.
Saturday night? Why Wynonna Judd, of course! OK, I know you city boys are a-snickerin right about now, but I have seen the Divine Ms. W twice. I dare your sophisticated, Kid Rock-lovin butt to go see her. She is simply a great performer. Thats it. End of story.

OK, she is not great enough to dress up like Garth Algar and make jokes about Dr. Cal Roberts. (Example? If he was Governor of California, hed be The Germ-inator. If he lived in Europe, it would be Germ-any. You get the idea.) And so what if Wynonna can sing and throw a party on stage? She never opened for Bad Habits. 

Vol. No: 141:04Issue: 4/15/04