Article Date: 12/1/2011

You Get What You Give
From the AOSA

You Get What You Give

By Ryan Corte, AOSA President

YOUR FOURTH YEAR of optometry school is a time to build confidence and enhance your clinical decision making. It's also a time to soak up life lessons from optometrists who have been in your shoes. I was given some great advice from my preceptor and mentor, Dave Bejot, OD, who told me: “Ryan, no matter how busy life gets, make sure to take the time to give back to your profession.” As simple as it sounds, his advice inspired me to write this column. Here are just a few ways you can give back:

■ Get involved in optometry societies. State and national optometric associations, such as the AOA, are always seeking hardworking, energetic volunteers to serve on committees. By participating, you'll gain the experience of working with other passionate and talented ODs who will be great contacts and may inspire you to run for leadership positions.
■ Educate the public about optometry. School nurses, primary care providers, and manufacturing, construction and industrial workers are just a few of the local groups that may benefit from your knowledge.
■ Volunteer at free health clinics. Give back to those in need by taking time each month (even if just a half day) to provide care at a local clinic.
■ Become an InfantSEE provider. What better way to gain the trust of young families in your community than by providing free eye care to newborns. By supporting the InfantSEE program, you're promoting lifelong primary eye care and building your practice at the same time.
■ Donate to AOA PAC. With the implementation of healthcare reform, there's no better time to support your state and national political action committees. When you donate, you support the rights of your patients and your profession.
■ Volunteer for mission trips to underdeveloped countries. Organizations such as VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) are always looking for new volunteer optometrists to collect eyeglasses, provide funds or volunteer for trips. The gift of sight may be the most rewarding gift you can provide.
■ Dedicate time to research. Optometric institutions and research organizations are always seeking talented optometrists to conduct research that may shape the future of the profession.

By doing your part, you can make a difference in the future of optometry! nOD

Optometric Management, Issue: December 2011