Professional Etiquette: Business Card Courtesy for Optometry Students

Sample Business Card from AOA

Last year, I had a blast meeting students and doctors during Optometry’s Meeting 2013 in San Diego! I enjoyed pleasant chats in the free luncheons, at the Presidential Celebration, during CEs, and even asking for directions! At the very end of our conversation, they would hand me a card! “Well, Susan, It was nice talking to you! Here’s my card if you have any questions.” I took the card, smiled, and walked off into my own world. Little did I know that I was breaking the common business card courtesy!

Here are some business cards tips that I have learned to do!

  1. Know when to stop! The people at OM (Optometry’s Meeting) are busy! They are flying between CE courses and on their way to the next event! Sometimes, they are too polite to shush off an eager student trying to network in the sea of optometrists. Ask what they are up to before sitting down with them! Fellow students will also be very busy CE monitoring and presenting posters! Perhaps meet up with them at a social event like OSB or at the hotel after party (yes they exist)!

  2. Accept the card with a firm handshake! Don’t walk off awkwardly like I did. Take this opportunity to give them your business card and leave a lasting impression!

  3. Write notes! I wish I did this earlier because I can’t remember how I even got some of my cards and what their company/practice is all about.  Now, I would write down “where, when, and how” I met this person, maybe even a memo telling me to write a thank you letter afterwards.

  4. Organize the cards! I honestly did not know what to do with all the cards I have collected last year. When I got home, I started to sort them and put them in a bin. I am so glad that I did that because it helped me when I wanted to reach out to the doctors and sales representatives for my school’s fundraisers. You never know when you will use the cards again, but one card could belong to your future employer!

So, hopefully my tips can help you be prepared for Optometry’s Meeting this year! I got my free business cards from AOA! They look pretty spiffy, don’t you think? It took less than a month, so order them soon to make it in time for June 25, 2014!!!!

Private Practice and a Mediterranean Feast


P1080232Recently, a group of students in the Private Practice Club (PPC) at UIWRSO were generously treated to dinner by Dr. Fashid Amir and Dr. Nancy Amir,   Both doctors are faculty at UIWRSO and have a lot of experience in private practice so we took this opportunity to discuss business management in optometry with them.

Dr. Nancy Amir recommended meeting at the Darna Restaurant because the flavor reminds her more of the taste of Egypt growing up. I have tried Persian breakfast, but this was my first full-on family style Mediterranean feast.  PPC President, Jacklyn Alaquinez, did an amazing job setting this up. 

We initially offered to pay for this event and arrange a location, but the guest doctors would not have it that way.  Perhaps, it is because they are teachers that they understand the importance of this dinner to the PPC. They knew exactly where we are coming from and would tell stories that quenched our thirst for knowledge.

We started with a quick intro – name, year, what mode of practice are you interested in, and where do you want to practice? 

I have shadowed quite a few modes of practice when I was at UCLA,from eye surgery in The Jules Stein Eye Institute to a private practice in Hollywood and in a free clinic.  I came in with the intention of doing pediatric optometry, but now that I’m learning more and more about the optometric profession, there are so many other possibilities to consider.

Dr. Nancy Amir, told her story about getting involved with Low Vision and how much patience is needed; she really likes what she does because it fits her personality and the pace that she likes to practice. They stressed the importance of choosing a mode of practice that would make you happy. Dr. Fashid Amir recommended buying a private practice and wrote all over a take-out box breaking down the numbers for us.

He suggested that a new grad should gain more experience before trying to take the reins of a booming private practice. The Amirs, wanted us to think about location, namely, where do we want to live? Will our families be happy? I could not fathom the amount of information– relevant, personal, practical– that I have taken away from hearing them talk.

I was delighted and grateful to be a part of this experience. I must add, their wisdom was infinite.

I can ramble on and on about the Amir’s tips on business management in optometry, thankfully we get some training in our program, but any business classes you can take would also help.  All in all, I highly recommended  a sit-down dinner with optometry faculty, to get to know them. I learned a great deal meeting with faculty in a setting that is more comfortable.  It helped us ask more questions in an informal setting, that maybe we were too afraid to ask in class.

P1080236And why not try delicious Mediterranean food while you are at it!

Faculty Achieve Professional Milestone at Academy

The UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry reached another milestone this October at the American Academy of Optometry’s annual meeting in Seattle, WA.  It was announced that three faculty members at RSO were accepted as Fellows into the Academy.  The three new Academy fellows were announced as: Dr. Chandra Mickles, Dr. Kyle Sandberg, and Dr. Matt Valdes.

Dr. Chandra Mickles, O.D., M.S.
Dr. Chandra Mickles, O.D., M.S.
Dr. Kyle Sandberg O.D.
Dr. Kyle Sandberg O.D.
Dr. Matt Sin Valdes O.D.
Dr. Matt Sin Valdes O.D.








These individuals successfully completed the rigorous process of obtaining Academy Fellowship by preparing Patient Case Reports that each doctor has personally examined and treated.  “I had to prepare 2 case studies (one paper and 1 poster).  I also presented a poster on a pediatric vision screening study that I conducted.  The Academy requires that a total of 50 points are accumulated in order to be eligible for Fellowship.  In my case, I received 20 for completing a residency, 10 for each case report and 10 for the study poster,” Dr. Kyle Sandberg explained.

These reports are peer reviewed by the Admissions Committee for quality and standard of care.  If the doctor passes this portion of the examination process, they are invited to the annual meeting where they undergo a comprehensive oral examination.

As Dr. Sandra Mickles describes, “I qualified to sit for the oral examination through submitting one case report, two scientific posters based on my research, and my residency credentials.  There was a panel of the three optometrists that examined me orally, based on my credentials and written work submitted for earning the fellowship.”

Drs. Mickles, Sandberg and Valdes have reflected great credit upon themselves and the entire University of the Incarnate Word community.  “Fellowship means a great deal to me, personally and professionally.  Working in a teaching institution, it is imperative our students and patients know we strive to provide the highest level of patient care.  Despite the time and effort required for fellowship, it’s encouraging to know I’m helping support RSO’s culture of excellence,” said Dr. Matt Valdes.

They have achieved a professional milestone which only a small number of the optometrists around the world have succeeded at doing.  We congratulate them and thank them for their hard work and dedication to the profession.

Optometry’s Meeting 2013! An Optometry Student’s Perspective

[pb_slideshow group=”1″] Wednesday, June 26 – Day 1 Highlights – Welcome to the lovely San Diego!  I decided to go to Optometry’s Meeting (OM) because I wanted to check out the interesting Continuing education (CE) courses! I signed up to be a CE monitor and Wednesday was our training session. The CE Office was busy, busy, BUSY! They handed out walkie-talkies and signage to the CE monitors and assigned them to a course to keep watch!! This year OM went electronic! No longer were there stamps and cards, but ODs get credit for their CE course via their badges.

I held a nifty machine that scanned the bar code on each doctor’s badge, and then when the doctors complete a course evals, they will receive full credit for the course!  Being a CE monitor was a great experience, you can work things out with your partner to sit-in the course so that you can do your job and at the same time listen to the CE course itself. I attended our very own Dr. Trevino’s lecture about the Posterior segment and Horner’s syndrome (to the pre-opt students reading: you will be shocked with the amount of info you will learn with those terms!) The CE monitor sitting outside got a chance to network with passing by ODs who are on their break or just exploring OM!  I would love to do this again! I met so many cool students from other schools being a CE monitor! I also got to learn a whole lot!

Thursday, June 27 – Day 2 Highlight – Varilux® Optometry Student Bowl™ It’s so fun and amazing that I just can’t explain it in words, so here’s a video!

Friday, June 28 – Day 3 Highlights – OM Exhibition Hall!!   The San Diego Convention Center was huge! Then again the new technology and equipment’s for optometry was plentiful and some were huge too! I was awed by all the innovations that each booth had to offer. Booths were occupied by different businesses, from small, corporate to international groups! I talked to all sorts of vendors to get a feel of what I can go into in the future.

It is true that OM is catered to ODs but like myself, there were many students prowling the halls in search of guidance and perhaps free stuff! There were snacks like ice cream, cotton candy, chips, dips, and cheese! Freebies and raffles were scattered throughout the booths and days that the exhibition hall were open.  My good friend and classmate, Irina Yakubin, was chitchatting with a young man at the booth dedicated to raising awareness for albinos because her close friend was also albino. I joined in and learned so much! He told us that vision may be impaired in albinos and spoke to us about other symptoms that they may experience.

Down by another booth, I bumped into a friend from my undergrad. Rebecca Wong, a UC Berkeley Optometry student was manning a booth. She told me all about and entered me to a raffle. When the names were selected, I won an incredibly cute plush! It’s an eyeball!!!!!

Saturday, June 29 – Day 4 Highlight – Celebration of Optometry   I’M ON A BOAT for the “Celebration of Optometry (Presidential Celebration)”! How cool is that? After a short intro to the new AOA and AOSA officers, the attendees were shuttled to the docked USS Midway. It was a floating museum with airplanes and other retired Navy equipment’s on board! Here’s a slide show of the captivating night sky of San Diego along with images of the lively bunch on the USS MIDWAY! ____ Some photos are courtesy of Dr. Mark Landig, OD.

The Vision Care Institute

Earlier this week, I was able to attend the Specialty Contact Lens Training Seminar at The Vision Care Institute (TVCI) in Jacksonville, FL.  The cost of the entire trip—transportation, hotel accommodation, and LOTS of food—was all sponsored by TVCI.  I went with seven other classmates, and we all learned valuable information and enjoyed the trip immensely.

The seminar was a two-day event that included a behavior/personality assessment review, manufacturing tour, and live patient interaction and feedback, among many other things.  There were also students from other optometry schools and colleges, and I was able to mingle with new people and even catch up with old friends.

Each optometry school or college gets to set the requirements for attending the seminar, and the only requirement for RSO students to attend is to be a Contact Lens Society member.

I would recommend attending the seminar either as a third-year or fourth-year student so that you will already have clinical experience and have taken the series of contact lens courses and labs.  This background of knowledge and skills will come in handy when fitting actual patients with contact lenses as part of the training seminar.

At the end of the seminar, every attendee received a plaque.  It was a great souvenir for a great trip!