Dr. Barry Seibel
Explains his approach to patient care...
My practice of medicine has been strongly influenced from
the years I spent at Rice University, where I originally began pursuing
an engineering degree. I was subsequently accepted into medical school
prior to completing that degree, but the background that I had in physics
and mathematics stayed with me and brought with it a particular method
of approaching problems and learning in general that is rarely developed
within the field of medicine alone.
Because of the tremendous volume of material involved, the typical medical
school curriculum tends to encourage
memorization as the mainstay of learning.
While instead, Rice University
had its emphasis on deeply understanding the material, encouraging
a pathway to independent and innovative thinking.
For example, typical undergraduate chemistry courses might require
students to memorize hundreds of different chemical reactions in order
to choose the correct one while taking a multiple choice exam. By
comparison, a Rice University exam required an in depth essay on
how and why each reaction occurred, and taught in a manner that supported
such comprehension. Thus, there was no need for me to
blindly memorize reactions because 'the right answer'
could instead be based on my understanding of the molecular structure of
I found that this 'engineering' approach to learning produced a highly
effective, longer lasting comprehension of the material involved. This
deeper understanding of the fundamental concepts automatically encouraged
thinking beyond the original material to the potential of new variations
From a similar approach came my development
a term I coined and a field of study I invented over a decade ago. Phacodynamics is
not just a method of doing, but rather a method of 'learning' designed
to foster a deeper understanding of the fundamental principles underlying
the surgical machine technology, microsurgical instruments, and delicate
maneuvers used in the science of eye surgery.
Prior to Phacodynamics, eye surgery was taught
in a mostly stepwise approach based on the assumption that the majority
of patients were fundamentally the same, and that the steps in any individual
operation could always proceed in an orderly manner. I found that this
was often not the case, and that only by breaking down the individual
components of each procedure and totally understanding every nuance involved,
could I then respond appropriately regardless of virtually any surgical
The development of Phacodynamics required extensive original research
on my part, including collaborating with engineers at the various world
eye surgery machine manufacturers. I was then able to analyze and organize
this information, using computer schematic drawings that I generated to
effectively convey the essential concepts in a manner clinically relevant
to other surgeons.
requiring a surgeon to memorize hundreds of different settings for each
cataract machine, I teach them four fundamental adjustment parameters
and then how to ascertain which need adjusting, how much and in what
direction - based on what they actually see through the operating microscope
rather than some image they might hold in their minds taken from a book.
Instead of an 'off-the-rack' or 'cookbook' approach, Phacodynamics allows
the unique adaptation and individualization of each patient's surgery.
This same goal is behind the development of every Seibel
created by applying Phacodynamics principles to cataract
and LASIK surgery. During each step of every operation, I ask myself what the
goal of that moment is and how it could best be served. If
the current technique
and instrumentation seem to be lacking in any way, I then systematically derive
how I can best implement improvements. Because of this, I am now able to offer
the many highly specialized Seibel instruments that enhance safety, patient comfort,
and surgical efficiency worldwide.
I have performed thousands
of refractive eye surgeries, including not only LASIK but the more technically
demanding cataract surgery as well. However, I am considered by my peers to be
an excellent surgeon not because of this volume, but rather because of
the thought and concentration that I devote to each individual operation, something
that cannot be obtained simply by doing a high volume of surgery.
By applying the Phacodynamics principles of evaluating appropriateness
and effectiveness, all aspects of eye
surgery are thus appropriately scrutinized and optimized. The result is my holding
a constant vigilance for excellence in order to insure that you as my patient
will receive the truly individualized attention and care you deserve.