Article Date: 6/1/2012

A Day in the Life...
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A Day in the Life …

I am occasionally surprised by the optometrist who suggests he would discourage a son or daughter from pursuing a career in optometry. I certainly acknowledge the fact that it may not be as “easy” as it once was to make money, but few professions are exempt from that conclusion. I'll also give you the burden of significant debt and the continued legislative battles facing our profession. However, it's clear that more and more, the optometric profession is recognized for the low stress, high reward nature of what we do. Noble a cause as it may be, the future of the profession will face critical decisions in scope of practice as well as the positioning of optometry within the healthcare delivery system of the future.

Accepting all of that, it's hard to ignore the enthusiasm and drive that most of the optometry students and new graduates emit. You're the most diverse group we've seen in a long time and you strive to practice as independents. In fact, you've brought an edge and attitude to a profession that could benefit from such swagger.

In my view, the profession of optometry offers all of the key elements required — gratification, financial reward, respect/recognition and a flexibility to pursue a wide variety of sub-specialties in a wide variety of environments. In addition, it allows for a reasonable work-life balance.

I must say that my appreciation for the profession is enhanced when I (on rare occasions) happen to watch reality TV. I've never felt so good about my own life until I watch the train wreck of other people's lives. Nevertheless, reality TV is intriguing and many find those shows quite entertaining. So, with that in mind, why not a reality show on a day in the life of an optometry student or a new grad? Let's show the world of optometry and those considering it what we're really about. Show them what we do, how we do it and why it's a profession made up of caring, well-trained practitioners who really love to practice. New OD has selected two optometrists, a student and a new grad to do just that.

I hope you will watch, comment and directly engage with these colleagues on our new OD Facebook page.

Tell us what you think. It should be fun.

All the best,
Howard

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



Optometric Management, Issue: June 2012, page(s): 66