Choosing to ask for forgiveness later
Dr. Duplessie helped organize the first US LASIK course in 1996, featuring the world’s top 25 corneal refractive surgeons from 11 countries in a series of 63 lectures and talks over two days.
Showing a boldness that can be career defining or career ruining, Dr. Duplessie, still in training, realized that the laser surgery classification system honoring a personal surgical hero, Prof. Jose Ignacio Barraquer [‘the father of corneal refractive surgery’], and agreed to by all of the surgeons speaking at the conference, was unworkable and needed to be simplified.
Given the challenge of marketing and promoting the surgically descriptive but tongue twistingly unpronounceable Barraquer classification system, Dr. Duplessie chose the ‘ask forgiveness later’ approach and simplified it to LASIK and PRK.
During the “First United States LASIK Course”, the name LASIK was not in widespread use, and none of speakers used it in the titles any of the 63 lectures and talks. After the course, there was only LASIK and PRK.