Archive for the ‘President's column’ Category

h1

Got Milk?

November 13, 2013

During my first term on the board in 2006, a survey of AOA member and non-member optometrists revealed that both groups felt the No. 1 priority for the AOA should be to tell the world all about “who we are and what we do.” Read the rest of this entry ?

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. Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Optometry’s ‘super’ champions

September 4, 2013
The 2010-2011 AOA Board of Trustees stands on the steps of the Capitol, from left, David A. Cockrell, O.D., Steven A. Loomis, O.D., Samuel D. Pierce, O.D., Christopher J. Quinn, O.D., AOA Executive Director Barry Barresi, O.D., Ph.D., Hilary L. Hawthorne, O.D., Joe E. Ellis, O.D., Randolph Brooks, O.D., Dori M. Carlson, O.D., Andrea P. Thau, O.D., and Mitchell T. Munson, O.D.

The 2010-2011 AOA Board of Trustees stands on the steps of the Capitol, from left, David A. Cockrell, O.D., Steven A. Loomis, O.D., Samuel D. Pierce, O.D., Christopher J. Quinn, O.D., AOA Executive Director Barry Barresi, O.D., Ph.D., Hilary L. Hawthorne, O.D., Joe E. Ellis, O.D., Randolph Brooks, O.D., Dori M. Carlson, O.D., Andrea P. Thau, O.D., and Mitchell T. Munson, O.D.

Federal Advocacy: one of the most important pillars of AOA’s strategic plan and the playing field where the game never ends to secure appropriate victories for our members and their patients.

We are now less than four months away from implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which will, arguably, change the landscape of health care as we know it.

Now, more than ever, the voice of optometry must be strong and resonate with our members of Congress. So this month, hundreds of AOA member optometrists and students will make their annual journey to Washington, D.C., with the purpose of sharing our profession’s concerns and initiatives, face to face, with our lawmakers.

To boost optometry’s readiness for the 2014 changes just around the bend, the AOA organized a second federal, state and third-party advocacy “super” conference Sept. 9-11 in our nation’s capital.

The meeting, which is open to every AOA doctor and student, will feature state legislative and third-party updates, new resources and proven strategies from the profession’s top experts in state issues and payer outreach.

Additionally, in preparation for the AOA’s annual Capitol Hill lobbying day of organized visits to the offices of every U.S. senator and House member, participants will be briefed on how to help advance AOA’s priority federal issues and counter the misinformation efforts of organized medicine, insurers and other groups with an anti-optometry agenda. Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

For kids’ sake

August 9, 2013
AOA President Mitch Munson, O.D., also known as the “Cow Eye Guy,” explains how the eyes work to a group of second-graders in Highlands Ranch, Colo.

AOA President Mitch Munson, O.D., also known as the “Cow Eye Guy,” explains how the eyes work to a group of second-graders in Highlands Ranch, Colo.

August tends to be a very busy month in our practices, particularly because of all the kids we see getting ready for school. Indeed, they are the lucky ones: the ones who have the resources for an eye examination and parents who understand the value of this important annual event. But what about the others?

One in four children has an undiagnosed vision problem that will likely limit their school performance.

So this is the perfect time for your practice to get the word out, not just within your practice population, but within your respective communities that eye examinations should be a regular part of a child’s comprehensive medical care. Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Up around the bend

July 3, 2013

hod sat munsonEditor’s note: this column contains excerpts from the inaugural address given by AOA President Mitch Munson, O.D., June 29 at the AOA House of Delegates.

It is truly an honor to stand before you as the 92nd president of the American Optometric Association. And to think, just 30 short years ago, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Such is the story of our lives: unpredictable, full of change and with something new, always, up around the bend. As many of you know, I grew up in Orange County, just a few miles north of here, and music was a big part of my life. I spent hours listening to Credence Clearwater Revival, and even though I only got about every third word John Fogerty ever sang, I loved their music… and “Up Around the Bend” was one of my favorites. And as I assume the reigns of this position, I want you to know that whatever the rising winds may bring, whatever is up around the bend for this profession, your AOA will be here to greet it as it has for over a century. Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Lessons from the African Plain

June 14, 2013

By Ronald Hopping, O.D., MPH, AOA president

As you may know, we have two boys, five years apart in age. When each of our sons turned 10 years old, I took them on a photo safari to Africa to see the world outside of Friendswood, Texas. It was a boys’ trip with grandfathers, uncles and dad. We each carried our own luggage, stayed in tents and ate whatever meal was served in camp that day. During the day, we drove around the African wilds in open-back Land Rovers taking pictures of whatever wild animals we came across, and during the night we listened to the cries of the hyenas, cats and baboons. One night, a rogue elephant bumped up against my dad’s tent, and one night the week before we moved in, a lion tore up a chair outside our tent. A very scary moment was when one of my sons who was on foot was stalked by a pack of hyenas. We were definitely exposed to the raw truths of nature. Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

What pearls of success would you share?

June 3, 2013

There I was, early on a beautiful Saturday morning in April, in a University of Houston College of Optometry lecture hall with about 40 eager students who were there – voluntarily – because they wanted to learn from me and others about how they can be successful in their careers as optometrists. What does it take to be successful these days? That is an important question for all of us in practice, but it was important for these future young doctors who get together on Saturday mornings several times a year, on their own, and invite folks in who can share insights into the decision-making they need to do as they progress in their careers. I think these are very smart young student doctors. Read the rest of this entry ?