Article Date: 3/1/2004

Dear colleague,

As an optometrist, I've always felt fortunate that certain eyecare companies provide significant financial support to the optometric profession. As an employee of VISTAKON®, I'm proud to be associated with one of those companies.

As you may know, much of the funding VISTAKON® and others provide to academia goes to the administration and faculty of the schools and colleges of optometry to support student activities. What you may not know is that state and federal guidelines limit how we contribute and what these funds are earmarked for. Nevertheless, we feel these contributions are important to the ongoing success of the profession.

So, although support is there for you during school and again after you're considered to have a "successful" practice, through continuing education, sales force support and educational materials, what's being done to support new O.D.s during what's probably the most challenging and uncertain time in practice -- the first 3 years? Not enough, you might say. But VISTAKON® is aiming to change that.

I am pleased to announce the opening of The Vision Care Institute™ of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. The Institute, which is located on our corporate campus in Jacksonville, Fla., was established to help you transition into practice and to promote the safe and effective use of our products. Providing a venue for technical and communication skills training, The Vision Care Institute™ is designed to support you by creating opportunities for discussion, interaction and self-assessment. Each class will consist of 3 days of fast-paced education and interactive discussion, as well as tours of the VISTAKON® manufacturing facilities and an opportunity to meet with key VISTAKON® and optometric leadership. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.

I also encourage you to look for opportunities like The Institute that enable you to benefit from real world experience. Maximize your technical skills but balance that by honing your communication skills. Without both, it's much more difficult to reach your professional goals.

Modern practice presents challenges that our profession has never experienced, yet modern optometry also provides opportunities beyond our predecessors' wildest dreams. Remember, you are the brightest, most well-educated doctor our profession has ever graduated. Set yourself up for success.

All the best,

Howard B. Purcell, O.D., F.A.A.O.
New England College of Optometry '84
VISTAKON® consultant to new O.D.
(800) 876-6622, ext. 1019; (904) 443-1019

For information on The Vision Care Institute, call (800) 874-6690.


Optometric Management, Issue: March 2004