Article Date: 3/1/2012

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Education is the Foundation of Optometry

Dear Colleagues:

Education is at the heart of our profession. We have used our superior quality of education not only to raise the level of our profession but also to advance our scope through the legislature. Although there are multiple vehicles for post-graduate education, conferences and local society meetings remain the primary sources for the majority of optometrists.

Over the past few years, there has been an increase in availability of online and other virtual education resources. Although many states and approving bodies have been slow to accept this mode of education, the quality and convenience of this approach have led to an increase in its usage and popularity. Most expect this trend to continue, however it’s clear that the viability of the major meetings remains strong as many colleagues enjoy the camaraderie and personal interactions afforded by such events.

Although Optometry is not unique in this trend, at the heart of any medical profession is the strength of its science and research. Thanks to many optometric scientists and researchers, as well as the organizations that support them — such as the American Optometric Foundation — Optometry has gained a great deal of credibility as a growing contributor to scientific and clinical discovery. This is something for which we should all be proud.

In support of this growing body of work are the publications that bring the results of this research to the forefront, thereby enabling all of us to learn from the efforts of our colleagues. Leading scientific research is brought to us by peer-reviewed publications, but the trade pubs are also an important source of knowledge.

Our web presence increased with the 2011 launch of New OD on Facebook. But as every facet of business and industry in the U.S. moves toward electronic media, it causes us to reflect. Has our desire for virtual information come at the expense of print? Have the publishers we rely on to deliver crucial information not kept up with the times? Has our desire for real-time information come at the expense of real science?

Tell us what you think. It just may impact one of the strengths and building blocks of this great profession — education.

All the best,
Pete and Howard

Dr. Peter Kehoe
Professional Development Advisor, Transitions Optical, Inc.

Dr. Howard B. Purcell
Vice President, Customer Development Group, Essilor of America

Optometric Management, Volume: 47 , Issue: March 2012, page(s): 58