Howard Purcell, OD, FAAO, president and CEO of New England College of Optometry, looks at challenges facing optometry students and optometric education. In addition, he invites the entire optometric community to participate in The Industry Collaborative, a group of industry partners who want to brainstorm solutions.
In today’s climate, it is hard to argue that the biggest issue facing optometry schools, students, practicing doctors, and humanity is the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic. But even before this worldwide event changed everyday life, optometry was facing serious challenges.
Howard Purcell, OD, FAAO, president and CEO of the New England College of Optometry, brings his background and relationships with industry partners together to help tackle these challenges head-on with a project called the Industry Collaborative. He shares the biggest concerns that students and schools across the country face and what optometry as a profession can do about it.
The Industry Collaborative
The Industry Collaborative includes participants from 44 industry partners, including Essilor, Johnson & Johnson Vision, and Jobson. Together at the SECO 2020 meeting in March, they signed a “Proclamation” agreement committing to collaborating and providing time and resources toward achieving three key objectives in improving the long-term health of optometry as a profession:
• Practice empowerment and acceleration
• Public perception and expectation of optometry
• Impact of technology on optometry and optometry on technology
Related: Telemedicine in the face of COVID-19
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2. Geller M. The Optometry Student Loan Repayment Calculator. Covalent Careers. Available at: https://covalentcareers.com/resources/optometry-student-debt-calculator/. Accessed 5/6/20.