When you graduate and get your first job, you’ll be anxiously awaiting that first check. It’ll be a few thousand dollars and you’ll think you are rich!
Then reality sets in and you remember that you have a lot of life expenses (student loans, rent, phone, car, etc…) on top of your professional liability insurance, health insurance, your AOA dues, local chapter dues, and the list goes on and on….
It may seem like a lot to add additional memberships on top of everything, BUT the benefits are well worth it.
If you have any interest in providing pediatric services, vision therapy, vision rehabilitation for the traumatic brain injury population, or sports vision therapy, I highly recommend looking into becoming an associate COVD member.
1. Graduated Membership Fees
Membership fees for COVD are graduated, which ensures that the costs associated with membership are not prohibitive while you are getting on your feet as a new grad.
- Year 1 is set at only $40.00!
- Year 2: $106.25
- Year 3: $212.50
- Year 4: $318.75
- Associate & Fellow Membership year 5+: $425.00
- Discounted rates for full time faculty ($179) & military ($156)
As soon as you become an associate, you become part of the “Locate A Doctor” function on the site.
This function looks up doctors based on zip code and can be manipulated in terms of radius. It is a useful referral tool because any optometrist, pediatrician, occupational therapist, or parent can access it on the homepage of the COVD website.
You can also use your new graduate knowledge and skills to bring vision therapy to an existing practice. This can be a way to set yourself apart from other graduates applying to the same job!
3. Access to a tremendous amount of practice management and practice building resources
If you visit the COVD website, even as a non-member, you have access to an enormous amount of educational tools, symptoms surveys, and other resources that help to build your practice.
When you become a member, the amount of resources increases 10-fold. You’ll have access to the above, plus even more practice building tools like the following guides:
- How to Start a Vision Therapy Practice
- Facts Sheets on Vision Therapy
- Insurance & Vision Therapy
- Patient Literature
Additionally, there is a job opportunity section that allows you to contact practices that are looking for new doctors to join them.
4. Fellowship Opportunity
Becoming a fellow of any branch of optometry is showing your colleagues and patients that you are practicing at the highest level of education.
Becoming a Fellow of COVD is no easy feat, (see the outline here), but it is a rewarding process and sets you apart from the pack.
5. Part of a Family
I wrote an article a while back highlighting the benefits of attending a COVD Meeting, and I truly believe that when you become part of the organization, you become part of a family.
As a recent new grad (SUNY 2013), I felt a strong backing by all of the doctors that I had met along the way that continued to encourage and help me open my practice. Without their support, I am not sure if my practice would be nearly as successful as it is.
I strongly believe the fee for COVD membership is WELL worth the price of admission.
If you have any questions, reach out to a COVD Mentor to get their take on the community and all of the opportunities being part of COVD has afforded them.