Article Date: 12/1/2012

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from the sponsor

Independent Optometry

I have spent the past couple of months traveling around the country speaking to colleagues about the future of independent optometry and I’ve learned a great deal about the challenges and threats that exist. I’m struck by a couple of consistent themes I’ve heard.

First, nearly all of our colleagues believe they’re practicing in an environment of independence. That’s good news as it’s critical that we be personally responsible for the care of our patients, as well as how we practice this very diverse and broad profession of optometry. I’ve also learned that there are significant threats to our profession — threats that have manifested themselves in North America as well as those that have not yet reached our shores but have had significant impact on our colleagues in other parts of the world.

It’s clear that we all agree that change is essential. We must adapt to the increasing patient demands and the threats inevitably coming to our shores that will try to depict independent optometry as overpriced and lacking in true patient care. We have a choice. We can wait for these threats to manifest themselves and then react or we can get out in front of them, be proactive and share our message now. Our message should tell of the real value optometry offers patients and healthcare and should convey all that independent optometry has delivered and will continue to deliver.

To achieve this, we must work together. Individually, we’re fragmented and unorganized but together we’re strong and united. We must find a way to market to consumers/patients in a way that preempts any counter-perspective that presents an inaccurate and unflattering view of our profession. We can do it, but we must be prepared to change and adapt. It’s not easy, but it’s critical to allow us to build on the incredible progress our profession has experienced over the past 50 years.

We need you, the New OD, to help us. It will be you who will lead the environment of change, and I belive that the industry has a responsibility to be there hand in hand with you. We’re committed to be there to learn and market together.

Tell us what you think.

All the best, Howard

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

Optometric Management, Issue: December 2012