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Is Private Equity another form of Corporate Optometry?

Is Private Equity another form of Corporate Optometry?

Private Equity has become very popular in our industry. Many older ODs find it have found great benefits with private equity as an exit strategy. Many ODs can sell their practices and not worry about the administrative tasks and still be able to practice the way they want and focus on what they love the most and that is patient care. There are many similarities and differences among practicing optometry in a private equity firm and corporate optometry. Ophthalmology went through it before and maybe the same can be said about labs being bought out over the years. PE is a tough conversation. Some might differ on this comparison, here is what some ODs think about this question.

There are the pros and cons of private equity in optometry

Some Private Equity are investing in new technology in their practices, from EHR to diagnostic equipment. They are building a practice to help with increased costs with low reimbursements. The new investment in technology allows ODs to practice the highest scope allowed. It can be a good employment opportunity for many young ODs that are tied down because of high debt and can still have that private practice feeling with higher than average salaries.

With the pros come the cons. Some of the negatives that ODs expressed were that there would not be any practices for the next generation of ODs to purchase and move the position forward. Some concerns were that these private equity firms would purchase these large practices hold them for a short period of time and sell them to a larger entity in the industry. ODs were concerned that optometry was being lead the way that pharmacy was taken. Being employed might be something that young ODs would like at the beginning of their career, but after a few year many desire to have their own business.

We asked the industry what they thought about if private equity was good for the future of optometry.

Dr Joshua Woodland from Dyerville, Iowa

“History doesn’t repeat, My point isn’t about current status of VCPs but, it’s about allowing something to take hold that allows for short sighted gains but is bad for the profession in the long term.”

Think about how other factors have affect our industry over the years. Use that information to help guide you on new trends and disruptive technology for the future of optometry.

Survey taken in the corporate optometry FB group, many of the members feel that private equity is another form of Corporate Optometry.

From this survey many ODs feel that private equity is another form of Corporate Optometry

It is not Corporate Optometry

Not all corporate opticals are the same, why would private equity firms be the same? There are different models and strategies. Leadership styles can vary in the direction they want to take that company. It is hard to make direct comparisons.

Stan Peacock- Walmart sublease holder in Marianna Florida.

“Not really, it depends on ones definition of what corporate optometry is. And also now there are different types of PE. So different definitions of PE also, especially how the OD is treated-in different PE settings.”

Private Equity is an alternative form of Corporate Optometry.

There can be a blur in being able to differ ante between the two in optometry. When the owner is not an OD sometimes it can be classified as form of corporate optometry. Usually in private equity ODs are employed by the firm. Private equity firms make the decisions on OD schedules, hiring, products for the optical, equipment and other decisions that ODs are not involved with.

John Wiener Costco leasehold in Cincinnati, Ohio

“It is meta corporate optometry. Equity is buying up everything. OMDs included. If you are working under a private equity firm, you are clearly not private. Your livelihood is at the mercy of market forces and corporate decisions that might be far removed from optometry.”

Only time will tell on what specific companies will do and what their strategy is. What is your opinion? Join the conversation on Facebook Corporate Optometry group!

Finding the Right Fit in Corporate Optometry.

Loving your job can make your professional life a whole lot easier. As aspiring optometrists, this should be at the top of your list of priorities.

It may be impossible to secure a job with the perfect paycheck, flexible timings and a work/life balance, but with some research and a can-do attitude, you too can find a job you love.

When you decided to look for a corporate optometry job, you must have realized that there were too many options out there and no way to know which suits you better. The internet can make you more confused with the influx of information on job openings and everyone telling you what to do and what not to do.

The answer lies with you. Be honest about what you need and what you can compromise on. Following are some tips and tricks that can help you land your dream job.

Know Yourself

You may think you want to work at some corporation, but your experience as an employee there could be the opposite. The grass is not always greener on the other side. Taking inspiration from other people’s lives and what works for them will only hold you back.

Self-awareness will take you a long way because knowing your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to make the right decision. If your workplace falls in line with your values, then you may end up having a great time there.

If you’re someone who loves going on vacations, then you should keep an eye out for places that offer great vacation plans. Some corporate opticals offer 4 weeks vacation at sign up.

Learn About the Organization

Before deciding on a place, make sure you know a little bit about the work culture and benefits they offer. Get in touch with alumni who are employed there and get a conversation going.

You can always ask to set up informational interviews to gauge more of an idea about what you’re getting yourself into. Ask on the Facebook group Corporate Optometry.

Stay Open-Minded but Don’t Settle

Keeping your options limited will only lead to misery. Finding a job is not easy. You need to set realistic expectations and take every rejection as a way to learn and improve.

Feeling like a failure after doing badly in one interview will not serve you well. Sometimes what you think you want isn’t necessarily what will make you happy.

Saying yes to the first job you’re offered is not going to help you either, unless it is all that you want. You may be settling for a lot less than you deserve. Depending on the state and the need for ODs many corporate opticals will pay above average salary and sign on bonuses. You can contact Corporate Optometry Consulting to get more info. Their info is corporateoptometry@gmail.com

Now that you know the basics, you can go looking for jobs that are fulfilling for you. Remember that haven’t failed until you stop trying.

Finding your dream job can take months, even years, but you need to realize that sometimes it takes a bad experience to help you find what you are looking for.

GROWING YOUR SUBLEASE OD PRACTICE WITH OCULAR TELEHEALTH

Ocular telehealth—providing on-demand comprehensive eye exams using remote digital connections— is a new concept in corporate optometry. The rapid development of new technologies is creating opportunities for sublease doctors–and providing greater access and better outcomes for patients.

Among the different flavors of ocular telehealth is a model that includes a B2B in-store/practice comprehensive eye exam. The exam begins when an on-site optical assistant collects the patient’s medical and ocular history and performs objective pre-testing and a series of eye health tests such as ocular alignment and motility, [pupil function, color vision, and visual field testing to measure peripheral vision. Following those tests, a remote certified technician subjectively refracts the patient via live video. The resulting exam data and images are then securely forwarded to a remote licensed optometrist for clinical evaluation and the results are discussed with the patient via live video.

Because this new model leverages advances in technology to provide comprehensive testing— and it relies on a licensed eyecare provider—the standard of care is equivalent to that of an in- person exam. In fact, in some ways, the standard of care is enhanced through the use of new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) that make it possible to enhance retinal images to allow for early detection of eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy.

“AI is a very big thing,” says Chad Overman, OD, clinical advisor for 20/20NOW and former director of professional relations for Walmart Vision Centers. “ AI enhances retinal images in never-before-possible ways to increase the sensitivity and efficacy of exams, and enables eyecare providers to diagnose ocular medical conditions with greater confidence.” The 20/20NOW platform implements EyelogicTM, the company’s AI technology designed to assist doctors in diagnosing diabetic retinopathy in its early stages.

4 WAYS TELEHEALTH CAN GROW YOUR BUSINESS

For eyecare providers that sublease space at optical retail locations , ocular telehealth provides unique opportunities to expand their practice. Here are four important ways it can open the door to additional patients and provide better productivity:

1. OPEN NEW SUBLEASE LOCATIONS. Eyecare providers are always seeking ways to

increase their revenue. Telehealth makes it possible to support adding a new sublease location without the need to staff it with a full-time doctor on-site. By using telehealth, patients in your satellite location can be seen remotely, by either yourself or a 20/20NOW doctor. So, you’re able to conduct exams at more than one location, thus increasing your productivity while expanding your practice’s reach.

2. INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY AT YOUR CURRENT LOCATION. Telehealth can help you

increase productivity and patient volume at your existing location. By adopting a telehealth model, you can open a second exam lane without the cost of adding a second in-person doctor at your location, and/or expand your hours of operations. Because telehealth exams are provided on demand you’ll always have a second doctor available to support overflow and walk-in patients.

3. SERVE PATIENTS WHILE YOU’RE AWAY. Telehealth makes it possible for you to serve patients while you’re away from the office. 20/20NOW’s doctor can provide exam services to patients while you’re on vacation or attending a CE training program—even on weekends or evenings when you’re not physically there.

4. SERVE PATIENTS BETTER. By taking over some of the more time-consuming, routine components of eye exams, telehealth can free you up to do what you really want to do—spend more time with patients and address their medical needs. You’ll serve more patients in a shorter amount of time, while increasing care quality and patient satisfaction.

Telehealth promises to continue to serve as a powerful platform for providing comprehensive eye health exams and for building patient volume and revenues at corporate sublease practices. “Optical telehealth solutions like 20/20NOW are truly the future of optical retail,” says Dr. Overman. “For ODs operating from corporate sublease locations, it will be a great way to increase revenues and lower costs. More important, it will improve quality of care and patient outcomes.”

Ignore the Negatives That You Hear about Corporate Optometry: Think Bigger

Ignoring the Negatives of what you hear in Corporate Optometry. Think bigger to what a career in corporate optometry can bring.

Not all corporate optometry companies or even brands within a company are the same. Find the right fit for you whether it is employed, part time, fill in, sublease, franchises , or even  selling to a private equity.

“Every obstacle is an opportunity waiting to reveal itself.”

Ask any ‘bright-eyed’ optometry student in their final year where they will want to work after graduating, nearly all of them will say anywhere but corporate practice. If you are even slightly familiar with the field, you will be well aware of how ‘corporate optometry’ is quite a notorious field. It suffers from a bad reputation in not just optometry schools, but well beyond.

‘There are too many patients’

‘Work hours are endless. There are no holidays in the job’

‘It doesn’t pay you well’

‘This isn’t full scope optometry’ and so on.

These are just a few of the many reasons you might hear from several  ODs against corporate optometry, and why they become a hindrance for those pursuing it.

Although some of these are true while some exaggerated and some even false, no matter what the case, it is also true that obstacles do not block your path, they are your path.

So, if you are a soon-to-be OD, here are a few tips on how you can turn the ‘obstacles’ of perception in corporate optometry, into opportunities.

Change your perception of obstacles

What you believe now to be ‘problems’ might not necessarily be so. It is simply absurd to be so prejudiced against the field that you don’t even consider it once.

Long work hours, low reimbursement plans, routine care or whatever other factor proves problematic for someone may not apply to you. Several ODs who have been working in this field are not working because of lack of other options. They love what they do. Who knows you might end up loving it too?

Focus on your strengths, not weaknesses

No matter how skilled you may consider yourself, the truth is, we all have the same degrees and many corporate opticals practice full scope optometry. Corporate optometry has a lot of foot traffic. Seeing a diverse patient base can strengthen your clinical skills.

Focus on your determination to learn and become better than who you were yesterday and develop your skills meanwhile. Corporate optometry jobs are everywhere, be it Walmart, Costco, VisionWorks, etc., so taking a sublease or even doing fill in work  will help you to continue to learn and expand your horizons.

As for those who say corporate optometry doesn’t allow you to widen your talent, it’s not really true. Corporate optometry allows you to be anything that you want. You can be an employee, a leaseholder or a franchise, a contractor or even an associate OD, depending on your goals. Moreover, if that’s not enough, you can privately pursue specialization in whichever area you are interested in.

Think bigger

Whatever you might be thinking, think bigger.

Many people consider medical professions because of the nobility that comes with the territory – the drive to serve humanity. So, being an optometrist is no exception either, especially a Corporate OD!

Even if you want to be a self-employed instead, you can consider starting off in corporate optometry too. It pays you well and is sure to give you experience and lessons that will prove beneficial to you in the future. This is because being a corporate OD allows you to interact with a diverse group of patients and learn the business aspects of optometry. Thus, you see and treat many different ocular problems and ultimately, learn learn a lot from the optical side of the business.

So, the truth about corporate optometry is that opportunities are everywhere! Obstacles seem to appear when you take your focus off your goals. So clean those spectacles and meet the so-called challenges head-on.

The path will become clear as crystal too. Just the clarity every OD wants!

The Opportunity for Personal Development for ODs in Corporate Optometry

“Income seldom exceeds personal development.”

Corporate Optometry is indeed a promising field, especially in terms of monetary gain. Of course you would know this if you have been a Corporate OD  or even if you are about to graduate from a school of optometry soon. The ‘bright’ future that this path offers is likely to have been a major factor that motivated you to pursue a career in corporate optometry.

But whether you feel you have gained sufficient knowledge during optometry school, or have been successfully practicing and think you know enough, you must remember that optometry is an evolving profession and they is always room for growth. You should always what to learn and seek more.

If you want to grow in corporate optometry you must find resources to develop yourself. There are a lot of practice management and clinical resources but there should be more on leadership, career advancement and extending personal goals.

Embrace the challenges!

To ensure success in your work, you must develop the ability to perform well under pressure. Many Corporate ODs see a large number of patients and the long work hours with fewer holidays that come with this career choice. Even if you are stressed out in the beginning, allow yourself to embrace the challenge and meet the requirements of your work head-on. Not only will you soon adjust, but you will also learn to manage and cope with all the pressure at work.The key is to maintain a positive attitude. Eat healthy and do exercise regularly and perhaps yoga or meditation as well, since they are proven to promote a healthy mind.

And no matter what happens, remember it is the obstacles that create personal growth.

Learn, learn, and learn!

Continue expanding your knowledge about optometry and the key treatments and procedures in the industry. Step of the corporate OD island and meet other ODs that practice with the same company and expand outside that network as well. Engage in healthy discussions on important topics in your field.

Joining the Facebook group Corporate Optometry can provide continuing personal development as they often provide not just the best practical methods, but also teach management and other key life skills that other corporate ODs face.

Self Reflect

Self-reflect and evaluate your career goals and want you want to achieve in a reasonable time frame and make any appropriate adjustments as required. This will be of great benefit to not only those around you but to you yourself as well. You must continue to expand your interests, and shape, improve and develop your skills and knowledge, in order to advance your optometric career and become the OD that you always envisioned in yourself.

Self Reflection should be done on short term and long term goals evaluating your failures and re-framing them to continue to grow!

With the right polishing, not just the glasses but you can shine as well!

Personal Branding For Corporate ODs

We live in a world that is highly digitalized. Whether it’s buying daily groceries, a new car, or even buying or selling real estate; everything is being done online. And we aren’t exaggerating when we say people are finding the diagnosis and even the treatment to with “Doctor Google”

The search for medical services and healthcare has become easier than ever thanks to the internet. The use of digital media will continue to grow. How your personal brand is represented on the web is critical for your future success as a Corporate OD. Whether you are a corporate OD in some market giant like Walmart, Costco, or Luxottica or someone practicing in a comparatively smaller optical , personal branding has become an important element more than ever if you want to ensure that you continue advancing in your career path. You want to be know as ” Dr Smith” not the Doctor inside Walmart.

In the field of corporate optometry, needless to say, patients are not just customers, but the sole decision-makers as well. Based on the information they do or do not find about a service, they decide whether to chose you or another provider. Your “reputation” on the web will guide those decision-makers to seek care from you. Your reputation online is the new word of mouth referral. Carefully monitoring what you want others to say and think of you online will continue to elevate your personal brand. A strong personal brand will help you get a promotion, next career move and leadership positions. If you want to outshine in your field and stand out both online and offline, you must follow these essential tips for personal branding.

Take the lead

The work you do is valuable not just to you, but also to your existing as well as any other potential patients in the future. Highlight some of your most important achievements and philosophies in a decent yet noticeable way.

Employed Corporate ODs can display their diplomas and other accomplishments at your corporate optical.  Share them on your own profile online or company social media accounts. Be confident about your skills and the way you practice, people are more likely to trust you for their care.

You should also feel free to share other things that you cherish most in your life. Be it your hobbies, personal interests, awards, charity work, research project or even memorable events with your friends and family. You can gain people’s trust by ensuring they feel familiar with you and can link to you on a closer, friendlier level.

 

Rise from the competition

With the rise of technology, there exist more and more online platforms where you can make your presence known. Corporate ODs can have their own social media pages that is affiliated with the corporate optical . Providing quality content about eye care will improve your standing and thereby, your viewers as well. Moreover, you will also develop you as an eye care expert in the community. It will strengthen your patient base but will also create networking opportunities with other Doctors that can lead to future careers advancements.

Create opportunities

With a diverse outreach in corporate optometry and additional help from your colleagues, you can create opportunities for yourself. Partnering with the eye care director or regional manager will help create opportunities for yourself. Being on advisory boards for corporate opticals will help open doors for yourself if you would like to have a leadership position.  Their recommendations can help build credibility to your name and make your personal brand a brand which people will be proud to endorse.

With proper personal branding, you are sure to be clearly visible  to your patients and future career advancements.

Characteristics of an Excellent Regional Manager in Corporate Optometry

Characteristics of Excellent Regional Managers in Corporate Optometry

Trust

They respect what ODs do and encourage ODs to practice the way they choose to. Don’t interfere with OD business. They understand that in order the optical to grow the OD side of the business needs to grow as well.

Work-Life Balance

They promote work life balance. They know that people work better and collaborate more if there is a balance. Burn out in corporate optometry is real.  Promoting a work life balance can help off set the burn out. Happy ODs can focus on growing a business and will result in increase in optical revenue.

Alignment

Keep optical staff focused on long term goals that includes growing the Doctor side of the business. Great regional managers understand the the patient experience is not an optical sale. Working with the Doctor side of the business will promote eye health and an image to the patient to continue to see the OD at that location. In the long term the patient that continues their care with that OD is more likely to continue to purchase from that optical. It can hedge from online retailers.

Support

Recognize and reward the optical staff and OD. Without the team goals can’t be achieved.

They encourage growth and want to see the OD business succeed. In the long term it will benefit the optical.

They won’t sacrifice the Doctor’s business to grow their own. Regional managers will not influence ODs office to offer quick services or cheapest eye exam in the area. They recognize this tactic will not grow the business in the long run.

Create a Culture of Accountability

They understand each location has unique strengths and weaknesses and use those intuition to create a strategic plan.

Provide resources to improve optical performance and find solutions. They do not blame.

When something goes wrong great regional managers work with the optical team and OD. They are accountable for their own results.

 

CREATING A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE IN CORPORATE OPTOMETRY

Creating a Memorable experience in Corporate Optometry.

When you think of  memorable experiences you think of positive times filled with joy and laughter. It could be a game winning shot, a vacation, childhood memory of your parents or even just enjoying a loved ones company as laughter fills the room.  You tend to remember the times that you felt something. Creating a memorable patient experience is no different! The way a patient “feels” about the experience will reflect directly to your bottom line. People will generally really love something or not like it and there is no room for in between or being average in today’s competitive market.  Creating a memorable experience involves everyone through the patient journey. Think of a patient experience as a journey, it is not a single appointment or transaction but a journey that can evolve over the next 20-30 years as they continue to see you and refer others to your office.   Here are some ways to make a memorable patient experience:

1. Active Listening

Active Listening is paying attention to the patient from the moment they call for an appointment. Train your staff to take notes during the initial touch point. If a patient is calling the office because of having a negative experience at another office, have the staff ask probing questions to understand what type of experience they are looking for. Once the patient is in your exam chair you have a “blueprint” of their expectations. You are able to address their pain points that guided them to your office.  Provide a personal approach by facing  them when they are talking and maintain eye contact. Many times patients will tell you want they want, it is your job as an eye care professional to recommend the best options and help guide them to best personalized solution. Active listening establishes  the patient/ doctor relationship and aligns an active approach to their health care. If they feel like their part of the decision process it will create a memorable experience that will make your office stand out from the rest.

2. Doctor Driven Dispensing

Whether you own your office or are an employee, doctor driven dispensing is a way to not only to create a memorable experience in the optical, but create patient loyalty through patient education of products. The clinical findings from the examination should be aligned with the eye wear lenses options that you recommend, to the specific artificial tears that you prescribed to that patient. It goes back to active listening. You are the authoritative voice and experienced professional of that office, “customize” and educate patients to why you are recommending a product and how it is different from online retailers. Maintain eye contact when discussing personalized eye care. Doctor driven dispensing is an art that is frequently ignored by many ODs. Asking different questions will create a “wow” experience for the patient, ” they never asked me those questions before, maybe I wasn’t getting the right exam or eye wear that I should have had before”

3.  Storytelling

Storytelling can be an influential connector to your patients because it is an emotional driver. Memorable moments are created by emotions. It makes the patient experience a human experience. Storytelling can be formulated from active listening to understanding what the patient likes to talk about and transitioning it to an assessment/plan strategy for that patient encounter.  Storytelling by itself can be a powerful way to be memorable. Be yourself. Being authentic will connect with people. Letting them know that your family member has a the same issues with  progressive lenses and what specific product you prescribed compared to an affordable option creates more value for your office than competing on price.

4. Marketing a memorable experience

Online retailers like Warby Parker will donate a pair of glasses. It creates a memorable experience for the patient because they know that their eyeglass purchase with help others in need. The promotion is “Since day one, over 4 million pairs of glasses have been distributed through our Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. Alleviating the problem of impaired vision is at the heart of what we do, and with your help, our impact continues to expand.” The key phrase is “The whole story begins with you“, it creates a memorable experience where the patient is involved in something for a bigger purpose. Whether is is a local charity event or mission trip your office can do the same. Use your email database and social media platforms to educate your patients about your involvement in the community and how they can be involved by donating old glasses or how you can do a promotion for free eye exams for those in need through your office.

 5. Follow up

The patient experience does not end at the end of the exam.  Making a follow up call to a patient can make a lasting impression. Whether is it a follow up on corneal abrasion or a call to see how their contacts are performing. This discussion has more impact than you think in making your business successful and developing the critical doctor/patient relationship. Following up 1 week, 1 month or 6 months will create a memorable experience, simply set reminders in your EMR system to have your staff follow up on progressive adaptation or simple satisfaction with service or products. Let your patients know that you remember specific personal information, document in your chart; job information and children’s names to have a starting point for your next exam.  Your EMR system can be a great way to follow up on reactivating patients by sending birthday texts/emails with special promotions.

6.Unique Style

Your unique style makes you memorable. Humor is a memorable factor. Don’t be afraid to have a different approach to patient care, humor will make you likeable and approachable to new patients. You want patients to feel comfortable, being funny is one way to do it. Everyone likes getting compliments and it will also make people feel comfortable to ask questions and enhance the doctor/patient experience.

Your personality, humor,empathy, attention to detail is your signature to the world. It speaks volumes, use it to create a memorable experience that no one can mimic because “you” is UNIQUE.

Subleasing Corporate OD Survey

We are collecting information about sublease Corporate ODs.

This is long and detailed but please do your best to fill it out completely so we can compile and share the results. All responses are completely anonymous and will not be traced back to any individual. Thanks so much for your help and we look forward to sharing the results!

Click Here to Get Start!

How to Quickly Talk to Your Patients About Blue Light

While there is considerable conversation happening around blue light, the reality is that 41 percent of consumers have never heard of blue light*. That being said, presenting and educating patients on blue light and its damaging effects should be a priority for eyecare professionals—even with limited time.
What are the best ways to help patients quickly understand what harmful blue light is and what steps they should take to ensure their eyes are protected?

Start by Asking Questions
Presenting blue light to patients is really an entire team effort. When the optometrist is prescribing lenses, you want patients to already be considering UV and harmful blue light protection.
As soon as a patient enters the office, put UV and harmful blue light protection on their mind. For example, during the registration process, include questions such as, “How do you protect your eyes from the sun?”, “Do you wear prescription sunwear?”, and “How often do you use digital devices?” By asking every patient that walks through the door these simple questions, you’re setting the stage for the blue light discussion in the exam room.

Educate through Comparisons
The best learning is often through analogies and comparisons—and talking to patients about eyecare is no exception. A great way to introduce UV and harmful blue light protection to patients is by comparing it to sunscreen for your eyes. Many patients know the damaging effects the sun’s rays can have on the skin but aren’t aware of how it impacts their eyes. Explain that sunlight includes both ultraviolet and blue light, and that both can have damaging effects.

Outline Sources and Symptoms
According to a survey conducted by Wakefield Research, 57 percent of patients are aware that digital devices are a source of blue light, and only 26 percent are aware the sun is a source. Help patients understand the need for blue light protection both indoors and out.
Communicate that harmful blue light can cause eyestrain and eye fatigue, and long-term exposure to harmful blue light has been linked to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration**.

Recommend a Product Lens Solution
After educating patients about blue light, 78 percent of consumers were likely to purchase a product that provides protection. With the high interest in purchasing glasses that help protect wearers’ eyes from harmful blue light indoors and outdoors, Transitions® lenses are an ideal solution to recommend.
Although all Transitions lenses help protect against harmful blue light, Transitions® XTRActive® lenses offer the highest level of harmful blue light protection indoors and out for a Transitions lens. Transitions XTRActive lenses help filter harmful blue light, blocking at least 34% of the harmful blue light indoors and 88% to 95% of harmful blue light outdoors. To find more information on blue light and to hear how other ODs are bringing up blue light with their patients, visit TransitionsPRO.com/bluelight.

*Online survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Transitions Optical, Inc. in December 2017.
** Arnault E., Barrau C., Nanteau C., Gondouin P., Bigot K., Viénot F., Gutman E., Fontaine V., VilletteT., Cohen-Tannoudji D., Sahel J., Picaud S., Second source,  Phototoxic Action Spectrum on a Retinal Pigment Epithelium Model of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Exposed to Sunlight Normalized Conditions, PlosOne 8 (2013), DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.007139

Podcast

Corporate Optometry India Part 3

Optometry and Youth: Catch Them Young !!

Current scenario in Indian Optometry

Indian optometry is at a very interesting and critical juncture. The allied and health care council bill 2018 is tabled in the upper house of the parliament and gone to the standing committee for deliberation with various stakeholders. Their suggestions will be considered and revised bill will be presented in the parliament.

It could be a giant step towards professional recognition of Optometry.

We have the Optometry Council of India (OCI), a peer regulating body with the responsibility of establishing & maintaining high standards of optometry education & recognition of optometry qualifications in India. The Indian Optometry Federation (IOF) is an umbrella organization of various associations. State associations are members of this association. Lobbying with govt about optometry rights etc. Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) works with the institutes to standardize curricula, infra structure and also towards capacity building of educators. These organizations are doing a good job in getting optometry recognized by the government and bringing standardization within the profession.  In other words, we are getting our house in order.

The other important aspect is creating awareness about the profession and getting public recognition. We need people to know about optometry and its scope. We want people to come asking for the optometrist for a comprehensive eye test. For that each optometrist has to offer the best clinical eye examination and provide the best services to patients.

This is exactly why I chose to focus on the awareness part. Looking at the students’ enthusiasm and creativity I thought they can definitely contribute a lot in this area. One fine day a group of optometry students and fresh graduates was formed and it still continues to work cohesively as one unit.

Role of youth

Almost everything that is great has been done by youth- Benjamin Disraeli

We are sitting on a gold mine. Probably it is the largest untapped resource. There are more than 50 institutes offering a 4-year B. Optometry program. Imagine the number of students graduating every year. Most of them are technologically savvy. They are very active on social media. They are happy to travel and meet new people. Most of the students I have seen are are passionate about the profession and want to contribute in a significant way. If we can channelize their energy and creativity, we can do wonders. There is no dearth of raw talent. They need direction. They need acknowledgement & recognition. More importantly they need to have the feeling that they belong to the community.

How have they contributed till now?

These students and fresh graduates have been very active in last twelve months or so. One group has started ‘Let’s RevolutionaryEYES’ – Social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, twitter and youtube. They regularly post content related to eyecare and eye related facts etc. The platform serves to both optometrists and public. As ‘World Optometry Day’ is celebrated across the world on 23rd March, 23rd of every month is dedicated to #Optometry #Eyecare. All social media channels are flooded with eye care related posts on this day. It is a great way to catch attention of people.

Another team created an explanatory video about scope of optometry. It covers what students are taught in a four-year course and what investigations an optometrist can perform. A poem composed by one group along with visuals was so well received by all that it even reached the govt. officials and was appreciated.

The Optometry Council of India (OCI) required eye awareness posters for their pan India campaign. These students conceptualized and designed posters with innovative ideas. Their efforts were recognized by OCI and Bausch + Lomb and these posters are being used extensively now.

This group also raised some fund through their efforts and contribution to the field. What is heartening to know is that they donated to the Kerala flood victims. Along with talent today’s optometry youth also has Good values.

Their energy and creativity were at display during awareness walks and street plays on World Sight Day.

Recently four new graduates under the supervision of Masterclass Optometry conceptualized and organized a program ‘Shaping Millennial’s for final year students. This program was developed considering what confusion a graduating student goes through. Over 225 students from 13 institutes were benefited from expert’s guidance.

Way forward 

We have just unlocked the potential of this goldmine. We need to keep nurturing these minds. They need to be kept busy in a right way. We are already working on a new project wherein the Optometry Council of India needs Optometrists to approach high schools and counsel the class 11,12 students about optometry, refractive errors and eyecare in general. Many of these fresh graduates from different parts of India have already offered to be a part of this project. We are really excited to see how it works. You never know, going forward we could help them find the right placement for work. Also, we could establish international links wherein these youngsters can freely interact with international students and experts.

The future definitely belongs to the youth. The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Its time for the senior optometrists to acknowledge their potential and help them convert it into performance. Young ODs need role models NOT just critics !!

Corporate Optometry India Part 2

With about 450 million people needing vision correction, uncorrected refractive error accounts for over 50% of vision impairment in India. Optometry is yet an unregulated profession. Defocus Media and Corporate Optometry Nation would like to present a podcast with Ms. Ukti Vora, an Indian optometrist who shares details about the history and growth of Optometry in India post the launch of ‘Vision 2020 – Right For Sight’ program. 

She provides insights about how optometry is practiced differently in India compared to major countries like USA and Australia. Optometrists in India are exploring different ways to deal with major competitors like Lenskart and Titan Eye Plus. Lack of regulation affects the policies for insurance and law in India. Efforts by various organization like Optometry Council of India (OCI), Associations of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), Indian Optometry Federation (IOF) and ‘Let’s RevolutionarEyes’ are contributing towards promoting and regularizing the profession. Organizations like MasterClass Optometry are promoting quality CME for practicing optometrists. India, still a developing market, has tremendous opportunities for collaboration in academics, research and corporate world. Ukti shares her experience and knowledge over the years to bring us closer to understanding optometry in India.

Optometry in Australia

Corporate Optometry Nation latest podcast.
Dr. Matthew Sheehan and explores the importance of optics in an optometry day to day professional life. He also talks a bit about optometry in Australia and how its coming along compared to other parts of the world.

Corporate Optometry Employment Model with Dr Laurie Lesser

Corporate Optometry Nation interviews Dr Laurie Lesser.  Dr. Lesser is an Area Doctor for South Florida Regional Eye Associates, affiliated with  America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses stores.  In this podcast we talk about the employment model of corporate optometry and how it might be the right fit for young ODs and females. Working in corporate optometry has many benefits. Listen in to the podcast to see if employment in corporate optometry is for you!