Article Date: 7/1/2009

Board Certification, Greetings And More

Board Certification, Greetings And More

Thoughts on the annual AOA meeting — including several plugs for this issue.

Jim Thomas

With all that has been reported on the American Optometric Association's (AOA) approval of board certification, there is little — if anything — left to say. (Please follow our coverage on "Practice Pulse" and Dr. Walt West's on "O.D. to O.D.".) I would only add that the vote is over, and time moves forward. As is always the case, it's time to plan your future, regardless of the direction you take, rather than act like the basketball player who stops everything to chestbump teammates or complain about officiating while the ball is still in play … and the clock continues to run.

From handshakes to kisses

Switching gears completely, I experienced a "greeting" problem at the annual AOA meeting. In a nutshell: When a colleague approaches, I often forgot the proper "physical contact" protocol for that particular person. Is it a handshake, a handshake with arm grasp to the shoulder, a kiss, an embrace, a long embrace? It's awkward to lean in for the embrace when the other party reaches out a shaky right hand. Sometimes, a standoff ensues with each of us waiting for the other to make the first move.

Once, when a colleague expected an embrace, I gave a vigorous handshake, which led to her spilling the glass of red wine she held in her left hand (yes, very smooth).

Fortunately, in the United States, gender may narrow the choice of greetings. And, this isn't a problem when meeting outgoing people whose body language dictates the greeting, such as two outstretched arms that signal embrace. It's also not an issue when two groups meet, as you can usually follow the example of the first greeters. Some suggest I become the dominant greeter and greet everyone in the same manner, but that lacks the personalized approach. Others recommend I simply remember the proper greeting, as it was established in a previous encounter. Neither system has proved effective so far.

Let us be your "Guide"

At meetings, such as the AOA, it's impossible to see everything on the show floor. It's even challenging to find enough time to get adequate hands-on experience with each vendor that represents a particular category of equipment. A worthy companion to the show floor is the annual OM "Diagnostic Instrument Buyers Guide," which begins on supplement section. Here, you can peruse the vital specifications of each piece of equipment in a particular category, say retinal cameras, for example. It is an excellent starting point for research into the equipment that will power the future of your practice. OM

Optometric Management, Issue: July 2009