Optometry is a legislative profession.
I am sure you have heard this at some point in school or during your career.
We cannot move forward as a profession unless we as optometrists support ourselves, eachother, and our profession.
This requires that we get involved.
Why is it important to get involved?
To be part of a growing healthcare system, we must support those who are representing us and our profession otherwise optometry can easily be left out. In the current state of affairs, it is easy to have many enemies and few allies. We must support those who are fighting for us on the legislative level.
Ways to get involved
Being active with the AOA is a great way.
Educating legislators on our background and what we can do is paramount for us to continue to grow as a profession.
Look for your state associations to have a young OD segment. This is a great way for newer grads to obtain guidance on how to get started.
Easy things you can do
Research who your legislators are. Chances are, they might be coming in as one of your patients. If they do, take the time to educate them on what you know and what optometrists can do as a whole.
As you mature throughout your career, donating to your state associations and getting involved in a deeper level by taking on a role within your association could generate increased advocacy efforts.
Our profession depends on it
With the advent of technology comes increased competition. We see disruptive forces emerging on a daily basis that threaten what we do as a profession.
There is a big position for tele-health right now along with private equity. There are many forces right now against optometry and we need to stay abreast of these entities and continue to fight for optometry.