HOYA Vision Care Announced the creation of the HOYA Learning Center with new positions added to support the growing needs of Independent eyecare professionals. Customer needs are ever evolving and the HOYA Learning Center at the outset will address four specific needs–technical and medical education, practice development, new media optics and dispensing.
The mission for the HOYA Learning Center is to help Independent eyecare professionals of all experience levels have access to the information they need to stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly shifting and ultra-competitive market.
Complimentary training will be available in multiple formats including in-person, instructor-led webinars and self-directed web-based training programs. Training can be customized to meet the needs of each practice and each individual so all can meet their respective goals.
What am I going to do now? Where am I going to find a job? How do I go about opening up my own practice? These are just a few of the many business-related questions optometry students face when nearing graduation. A further question might be why these questions have to be asked in the first place. Although there has been a drastic effort and improvement to educate our new graduates on the basics in business management of optometry, is it really enough? At what point must we make an effort to educate ourselves?
While it is helpful for optometry schools to lend students a hand at getting started in business, students also need to take the initiative and seek out information. Unlike past generations, we are fortunate to have tremendous resources lying at our fingertips with the internet. Thanks to our smartphones and electronic tablets, we can pursue that information during any spare moment. Waiting for class to begin? The perfect time to catch up on your reading of professional publications such as this one or check in with optometric groups on Facebook. The key is reaching out and obtaining information rather than waiting passively for the needed knowledge to miraculously drop in our laps.
As we all know, optometry school can be quite rigorous and demanding. Although many of us are concerned with simply getting through the curriculum, we must not neglect the business aspect of optometry. It is this lack of planning and knowledge along with the immediate burden of debt that forces our new graduates into modes of practice they never envisioned (or wanted). The optometry students who always dreamed of private practice, but find themselves a few years after graduation stuck working for someone else, can sometimes blame themselves for not being more proactive and educating themselves on what it takes to get started in business. Don’t let your optometric future choose you rather the other way around. With the right business, as well as clinical education, you have a greater chance of choosing the optometric career you always envisioned.
We understand the importance of learning the practice management and business side of optometry. As we are all in this together, we write this post with the intention of enlightening our peers with feedback and advice from experienced OD’s. We hope our efforts will generate a greater interest in our colleagues toward the business aspect of their future careers. We also encourage student feedback and responses. If you have any specific questions you would like answered, please e-mail us or post it here, as it may be a potential topic for discussion, and probably a question other students would like to know the answer to as well.
What advice do you seasoned ODs wish you were given before you graduated? What do you students feel you need to learn more about?
Over one-third of all parents with children living at home report that their child(ren) have never received an eye exam, according to the The Vision Council‘s VisionWatch Parent Child Vision Care Report. Parents with only one child living at home, and parents with a child under the age of 10 living at home, were more likely than other parents to never have taken any of their children to get their eyes examined. Insurance coverage (of any kind) has little-to-no influence regarding the frequency or history of eye exams among American children.
It appears that the only noticeable and significant influence that insurance coverage has with regard to children’s eyewear pertains to prices and what parents are willing to pay for the eyeglasses their children wear. In particular, parents with some type of insurance coverage (health insurance, MVC and/or FSA/MSA) are more likely than parents without coverage to be willing to pay more than $99 for a pair of children’s eyewear.
These facts highlight the need to educate all patients about the need for children to have their eyes examined. Everyone is either a parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt or a friend of a child. The circle of everyone’s life touches a child at some point, therefore, educate everyone.
Use a multimedia approach to educate people. Use simple signs placed in the reception area, computer screen savers, brochures, scripted elevator speeches by staff–use whatever you can to communicate the need for children to have their eyes examined. Make sure your primary message is that undiagnosed visual problems contribute to two unresolved life problems–school performance not at expected levels and poor athletic performance. Unresolved problems mean that children are making life choices based on what they can do rather then what they want to do. Make the point that unresolved means unnecessary.
Your action plan today is to re-examine how you are educating people about the need for children to have their eyes examined and then do it better.
When hiring, seek applicants with an innate desire to help your patients and take your practice to the next level.