ask, ask, and ask some more…
Maven, refers to an expert or connoisseur in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others. Or put another way, maven comes from Hebrew, via Yiddish (mevin), and means one who understands, based on an accumulation of knowledge. This according to the brains of Wikipedia.
An interesting topic arose last night between myself and a COVT candidate I’m mentoring, and I found myself in the peculiar position of trying to offer assistance in an area in which I was completely unfamiliar. I had no idea how to help. Realizing that my knowledge base was lacking, we tabled the discussion and agreed to revisit it once some research could be completed. For those curious, the question was to identify the key differences between stereopsis and depth perception – a topic that for some therapists becomes complicated and confusing in a hurry, at least it did for me.
Now for the maven part. I did some research this morning before starting with patients, and as stated, quickly became more confused. I interrupted my doctor between her patients and asked for help, which she graciously offered, but apparently her “down and dirty” explanation was a little too dirty for me. Still didn’t get it. I sent emails to three trusted doctors asking for clarification, an explanation, a compass, a road map, a beacon, or anything else to help me understand. In fact, I ended up exchanging many emails with all three as they too were gracious enough to manage my many questions and take time to offer simpler explanations until I understood. It took about 6 hours, 23 emails, and a 30 minute face to face conversation with my doctor after lunch, but I think I now understand. Hopefully.
Developmental Optometry is a wonderful community, and is filled with many mavens, as I experienced today. I’ve written many times that for me the sign of a good therapist is someone who can be honest with themselves about their knowledge base, and be humble enough to ask for help when they’ve crossed its perimeter. Ask your doctor, ask MY doctor, ask other therapists, ask our community email group, ask any trusted source you have access to until you find the answer. The knowledge is out there and ultimately it is our patients that will benefit from our learning. Knowledge is power, the more knowledge we have, the more powerful therapists we become.
Special thanks to Dr. Mary McMains, Dr. Charles Boulet, Dr. Leonard Press, and Dr. Bob Sanet for acting as my mavens today. You are all very much appreciated! 🙂