Archive for May, 2009


Obama says health care changes must come this year

May 31, 2009

Obama says health care changes must come this year

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Congratulations Class of 2009

May 23, 2009

Last weekend I had the honor of delivering the commencement address to the ICO Class of 2009. What an awesome experience and one that 25 years earlier at my graduation – was not a thought in my mind.

This years graduating class is the best educated in our profession and they can be proud of their education and training. Patients for years ahead will benefit from the care provided by these great doctors.

I delivered 5 points to them for consideration:
First and foremost, be an independent doctor of Optometry no matter what setting you choose to practice.
Second: Use the power of your exam room by becoming a doctor driven dispenser and educating your patients about a lifetime of healthy vision at EVERY opportunity. #3 Get involved in your local society
#4: join your state and national associations whatever mode of practice you choose. This is where the deep roots of optometry are planted.
And fifth and last…include your personal and extended family in all you do …and MAKE IT FUN.

Thank you ICO for allowing me the opportunity to deliver my message and best of luck to ALL 2009 graduates. The Future of Optometry is in Your Hands……GRAB HOLD!


National Licensure???

May 3, 2009

     One of the on-line newsletters today brought up the topic of National Licensure and while he made reference to the Joint Board Certification Project Teams model for maintenance of certification, I wanted to take a crack at explaining why true national licensure is unrealistic.
     I can only think of two national (issued by the federal government) licenses. A pilot’s license and a broadcasters license. I’m sure ther are more, but these two come to mind.
     There are NO national licenses for any healthcare profession. There are very similar scopes of practice for medicine and denstistry in most states, but not a national license.
     We have 50 different optometric practice acts and that is because our country operates on a states rights concept. Regulation occurs at the state level.
Scope of practice for optometry is a state issue that must be addressed by the state optometric associations, the state optometric boards and state legislatures – not a federal agency or even a national optometric organization. That said, the AOA continues to work with any state in their efforts to expand the scope of our profession to better serve the patients in their state.
     I am in St. Louis this weekend for the North Central States Optometric Council and had a member suggest that the current optometric board certification program and maintenance of certification proposal could help level the scope of practice across the country. His theory was that when the majority of doctors in a state had passed a board certification exam that included content beyond their scope, it would inspire them to encourage their state association to more aggressively pursue advanced scope of practice laws.
     Since this doctor had been through legislative batteles in his state and understands states right issues, I thought his was an intersting – and certainly more plausible concept than national licensure – way to go North Central optometry!
Until next time… Pete