h1

Our greatest gift

October 9, 2013
Dr. Munson addresses the class of 2013 at the Southern California College of Optometry Commencement in Fullerton, Calif. Dr. Munson was also honored with the Distinguished Service Award for his contributions over time that have advanced the stature and integrity of the college. He is a 1986 graduate of SCCO.

Dr. Munson addresses the class of 2013 at the Southern California College of Optometry Commencement in Fullerton, Calif. Dr. Munson was also honored with the Distinguished Service Award for his contributions over time that have advanced the stature and integrity of the college. He is a 1986 graduate of SCCO.

This past May, I had the pleasure of delivering the commencement addresses to both Northwestern State University and the Southern California colleges of optometry. After watching 125 new ODs leave the stage, I saw another 59 who had finished their residencies. This year saw nearly 25 percent of the 2013 graduating class entering residencies.

The expansion of optometric scope has certainly changed the world we all practice in, but as much as things change, they do stay the same… and that’s all right.

When we talk about these changes, I prefer to use terms such as “expanded scope” or “increased scope” and refrain from terms such as “evolution” or “progression.” Both of the later imply moving from one place to another, and that can be problematic.

While many of us enjoy practicing a brand of medical optometry that was unavailable to us 25 years ago, we should never forget the fundamental roots from which the name of our profession is derived. To be sure, when it comes to measuring and correcting the refractive status of the eye, no one does it better than we do.

In light of the many diseased eyes that we treat, I would suspect that for many optometrists, their core book of business is still refractive care. Why? Because it’s what we do, it’s what most of our patients come to see us for and, at the end of the day, our training allows us to correct the refractive and binocular problems of our patients better than anyone on the planet.

The advancements in spectacle and contact lens technology continue to enhance our services by arming us with more options — options that lead to better outcomes and happier patients.

Two years ago, I fit my first scleral lens on a patient who suffered from post-LASIK ectasia. Her best-corrected visual acuity was 20/80 in her better eye. She could not get her driver’s license renewed, and her vision with the soft toric lenses fit by her previous ophthalmologist was 20/100.

The OMD told her that was the best anyone could do. But it wasn’t. Her fitting was life-changing for both of us — yielding 20/20 acuities and a very grateful patient.

Since then, I have fit many more patients, and with each success story, I am reminded of the incredible and unique skills that enable each of us to restore what most of humanity would consider their greatest gift. Yes, we ARE optometrists.

Sincerely,

Mitchell T. Munson, O.D., AOA president

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: