Optometry school has provided me with numerous experiences in classes and organizations that I have been looking forward to since deciding upon Optometry. Some of these experiences are those that tie into the political, technological,healthcare, or business aspects of Optometry just to name a few. The advantage of many of these events are that they are offered as weekend seminars and are designed as Continuing Education (CE) courses for already practicing Optometrists.
I consider this advantageous because, as an optometry student, it is a great benefit to be able to network with doctors that are already out practicing and know what you have been through as well as communicating much of the reward that lies on the other side of graduation. This also gives you the opportunity to ask what obstacles they may face with their practices or state laws to help you determine what the best mode of practice would be, where it is best to practice, and even if a residency is the right thing for you to pursue, etc.
Enough about how it’s a great opportunity to attend all these events and on with this iProfit seminar …..
This summer I attended a weekend seminar sponsored by the Texas Optometric Association (TOA) that encompassed different areas of Optometry that can help with business growth in a new era controlled by technology and social media. It also aimed at how to better the patients’ experience and make you a more reputable doctor. The weekend was broken up into mini courses, breakout discussions, and lunches designed to offer an array of different topics, and speakers that are very successful in Optometry and business. This all sounds like it would be fun (especially on a weekend during my first summer off–why not sit through more classes), but maybe when I’m a practicing Optometrist this would be more suiting. So, “why do I need this exposure during school” you may ask?
I feel that the sooner you can start to think like a business minded optometrist, the sooner that allows you to realize how all of the healthcare and other services you will be providing are actually going to provide for you and your family later in life. It gives you a perspective to start looking through, since many students would like to own their own practice. Let’s face it, we have enough on our plate learning everything we need to know to be a great Optometrist but we could always use a little more of the business background. Especially by Optometrists that are so successful in it that they are sharing it with others to help them succeed in order to build Optometry nationally.
The information contained in this weekend was very helpful to start thinking about at such an early point in my education, however, networking with different doctors was just as beneficial. Though it was through the TOA, there were doctors from all over the country that came to listen to these speakers. This was my first experience networking with a large number of Optometrists and it was a lot of fun for myself and the other students there, but it was also important to hear the advice and opinions from different doctors in response to questions we asked them throughout the weekend.
The take-away point … is to be more than a student during Optometry school. Get involved and start making Optometry YOUR profession and YOUR future!