Article Date: 11/1/2005


Mastering Your Meeting Skills

PROFESSIONAL MEETINGS can be overwhelming, especially if you're a first-time attendee. Here's some advice from veteran meeting-goers that can help you get the most out of the experience.

Dress for success. "Never wear jeans. Business casual is the way to go," says Janice M. Jurkus, O.D., F.A.A.O. "But wear comfortable shoes. Convention centers are big, and you'll probably be running between sessions all day."

Do your homework. "Meetings can be like Disneyland — so much to see and do," says Milton M. Hom, O.D., F.A.A.O. "I feel awful browsing through the program after the meeting has ended and discovering I missed something." Study the program ahead of time, and take advantage of online personal program planners to help you choose what you want to see and when.

Research your interests. Attend as many CE courses as possible in your area of interest. "This will give you the opportunity to see if you really want to specialize in that particular area," says David B. Seibel, O.D., F.A.A.O. "Don't just listen. Take the opportunity to talk to the instructors. They'll be happy to answer all your questions and tell you the pros and cons of their specialty."

Browse the wares. "Spend as much time as possible in the exhibit hall," says Edward S. Bennett, O.D., F.A.A.O. "Check out new textbooks, contact lenses and other products." Talking to vendors also is a unique networking opportunity. "Get names of local territory managers in your preferred practice area," Dr. Seibel says. "Local reps know who's hiring and can point out the best — and worst —
doctors to work for in your chosen area." 

Break out of your comfort zone. You can hang out with your friends any time, so make an effort to venture out on your own. "Don't be afraid to introduce yourself to people," Dr. Hom says. Or as Dr. Seibel suggests, ask alumni or
instructors to introduce you around. Dr.
Jurkus has advice that can help you deal with all the business cards you're bound to collect. "When you meet someone, make a note on the card to remind you who they are and what you talked about," she says.

Be on your best behavior. Don't
forget to have fun — but not too much. "Attend parties, but don't get drunk and disorderly," Dr. Jurkus says. "People
remember, and you never know if your
future boss is at the same party!"

Improve Contact Lens Visibility

I've had great success prescribing color-enhancing contact lenses to first-time patients. The tinting helps presbyopic patients find the lens more easily in the case, on the eye before removal or when it becomes decentered. After patients are comfortable with their lenses, some choose to continue wearing color enhancing contact lenses for cosmetic purposes while others go back to clear or lenses with a visibility tint. Either way, I've introduced them to color-enhancing lenses and made their first experience with new contact lenses a little less stressful.

Jenny Baker, N.C.L.C.
Via e-mail

For more great contact lens fitting tips, go to

Maintaining Office Morale

IS YOUR OFFICE a fun place to work? It should be, according to Bob Levoy, author of "201 Secrets of a High-Performance Practice" (Butterworth-Heinemann). You can help keep stress levels low by encouraging employees to share their favorite snack foods with their co-workers, setting aside time for in-office lunches and giving your team a lounge or space of their own where they can relax and unwind.

The Vision Care Institute Expands its Frontiers

OVER THE PAST YEAR, 1,100 fourth-year optometry students have completed the 3-day program offered by The Vision Care Institute of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. The newest addition to the Jacksonville, Fla., campus is the Sullins Training Theatre, a 105-seat, state-of-the-art teaching facility. Named in honor of Rear Admiral W. David Sullins Jr., O.D., the first optometrist to attain the military rank of Rear Admiral, the new theatre features a 7- by 12-foot projection screen linked to six on-site exam rooms. The Theatre also offers opportunities for long-distance learning from all over the world via satellite transmission.

"This expansion will allow us to meet the ever-increasing need for training, while helping us provide a broad range of topics to a wider audience," says Howard B. Purcell, O.D., F.A.A.O., senior director of The Vision Care Institute.
"Optometry is a continuously evolving science, and we hope to equip eyecare professionals with the knowledge and experience necessary to meet growing patient demands."

Dr. Purcell dedicated the new Training Center, which comprises the Sullins Theatre and four additional instructional
areas, on Aug. 15, 2005. The all-day program included a live demonstration of the Training Theatre, tours of the facility and a keynote address by Story Musgrave, M.D., NASA scientist and veteran space shuttle astronaut.

The Sullins Theatre is the newest addition to The Vision Care Institute in Jacksonville, Fla.

Shuttle Pioneer Tells His Story

Dr. Musgrave signs a book for Ellen Rogers, O.D.,
after his keynote address at The Vision Care Institute.

Astronaut Story Musgrave, M.D., delivered the keynote address during the inauguration of the new training facility at The Vision Care Institute. During his long and illustrious career, Dr. Musgrave has never been satisfied with the status quo, constantly striving to forge new frontiers and develop new technological innovations.

Dr. Musgrave shared highlights from his career as a surgeon, test pilot and astronaut, only a few of his accomplishments. He helped design extravehicular activity equipment for the space shuttle program before participating in the maiden voyage of the space shuttle Challenger. During subsequent shuttle missions, he helped deploy numerous satellites and was part of the first crew to capture and repair the Hubble Space Telescope in 1993. He holds the distinction of being the only astronaut to have flown on all five space shuttles. Dr. Musgrave retired from NASA in 1997, but continues to travel and share his experiences with audiences all over the world.

"We chose Dr. Musgrave as our keynote speaker because his lifelong quest to acquire new skills through continuous training and desire to take his chosen profession to the next level represent the spirit of The Vision Care Institute," says Howard B. Purcell, O.D., F.A.A.O. "At The Institute, we share his ongoing dedication to technological innovation and education."


Optometric Management, Issue: November 2005