Readers Voice their Opinions
Research and contact lenses
To the editor: I couldn't agree with you more with respect to your column, "How To Identify The Best Case Studies" (OM, April 2010).
Indeed, all contact lens case studies are not created equal. And, as eyecare practitioners, like many others, move more and more toward evidence-based medicine, it is important that they be able to determine what information is reliable and what is most relevant for clinical decision-making.
Best practice health care depends on clinicians understanding clinical research and applying the results. The Vistakon Professional Development Group offers a 10-Point Guide to Evaluating Clinical Research, which details important steps to look for in any clinical study. Your readers can obtain a copy by e-mailing a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colleen Riley, O.D. M.S., F.A.A.O.
Vice President, Professional Development Group
Vistakon, Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
The challenge of new O.D.s
To the editor: Everything that Dr. Neil Gailmard writes in his article, "Bringing a New O.D. Into a Traditional Practice" (OM May 2010), is so true. As director of the Irving Bennett Business & Practice Management Center at Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), Salus University, I hear students and new graduates say that they DO want to work in private practice.
New grads often encounter private O.D.s who only want to hire a parttime O.D. New graduates don't form an allegiance to that particular practice, as they probably work part time in another practice, where they bide their time until they secure a full-time position. Once the new graduate finds a full-time position, the privatepractice O.D. owner faces the burden of starting the search for a part-time O.D. all over again.
While students desire to work in a private-practice setting, many don't necessarily want to own the practice. They may not have that entrepreneur personality, but they do want this professional practice mode, and they desire to be good employees, as Dr. Gailmard states.
In these instances, I agree that it's much smoother for O.D. owners to offer a straight salary and benefits to their employed O.D.s. To help our grads, we review employment contracts/ agreements, which often contain provisions for bonuses. In too many cases, it's highly unlikely the new O.D. will be able to meet the conditions to receive the bonus, as it's based on collected fees, and most likely never includes anything from the dispensary. The new O.D. gets frustrated.
My son and his wife are O.D.s and partners in a practice. They employed several part-time O.D.s in the past, but now they've decided to hire an O.D. as a full-time employee with benefits. They're in the process of hiring a new graduate for four-and-a-half days per week. They've found it's not a problem to schedule patients to see the new doctor.
Dr. Harry Kaplan, assistant professor of optometry, PCO at Salus, and I attempted several years ago to go to local Pennsylvania Optometric Society meetings and try to convey some of these messages. I believe it helped, but it takes time… and more time. Somehow, your message has to be repeated more to the practicing, successful O.D. than to the young O.D.s.
Your article has inspired me again to reach out to successful private O.D.s and try to give them your advice.
Dr. Irving Bennett, professor of optometry, PCO at Salus, has been my inspiration for the past 20 years, and he has guided me in so many ways. I will share this issue with him also. OM
Irving Bennett Business & Practice
Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University,
Elkins Park, Pa.
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Optometric Management, Issue: July 2010