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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Insecurity Inundates Ophthalmology

A story in Optometry Times notes that:

The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) will offer a non-surgical educational program to advance a synergistic collaboration between optometry and ophthalmology. The Integrated Ophthalmic-Managed Eyecare Delivery Model (IOMED) was created by the ASCRS IOMED Task Force and the ASCRS Integrated Eyecare Program Committee. ...IOMED encourages arrangements in which optometrists employed by ophthalmologists, as well as optometrists employed by the military or industry, have a role in delivering non-surgical eye care. This patient-centered model .....

Comments: Since independent members of the Optometric profession are barred from participating in ASCRS meetings, the IOMED program only demonstrates organized ophthalmology's inability to come down off of their pedestal and to acknowledge that ALL OF OPTOMETRY (and not just those EMPLOYED by ophthalmology) have the education, skills and training to care for a wide variety of patients. This discriminatory approach to patient care should be seen for what it really attempt to control one profession for the benefit of another to the detriment of patients and the care they receive. If ASCRS really wanted the best for all patients they would welcome all optometrists to their continuing education programs (yes, even those programs that discuss surgery). 

The membeship of ASCRS should contact their leaders. They should tell them how incredibly petty, small minded and ridiculous they make themselves look by supporting such a flawed and illogical program. We must work together, yes as equals. I challenge all members of ASCRS, especially those who are optometrists, to make the changes that will be necessary to demonstrate a more appropriate approach to patient care with collegiality and equity towards all. DM

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