Originally Posted by Tippytoe
And an important thing students/doc should not forget is that these 'refracting houses' will not be held liable for the retinal detachment or diabetic retinopathy you miss because you are so rushed to see the next 10 customers tapping their feet waiting for you to give them their Rx. The store doesn't care. It's your license on the line and YOU will be the one sued.
It's like we've been saying all along. THIS is what people are signing up for today when they choose optometry. This is the future of the profession - retail optical being driven by written Rxs in a commercial setting. Notice, children, that I did not say "Drs. Rx" since it's not at all unlikely that at some point in the near future, ODs will be pushed aside in this setting and replaced with refracting techs if/when they get independent refracting rights, just like they do in many other countries. When that happens, we'll be a giant redundancy. ODs would be stuck between MDs who can do ocular health and refracting techs who can write, sell, and dispense corrective lenses of all kinds. Oh, and then there will be about 50,000 ODs who can fulfill the same roles.
Do yourself a little thought experiment. Imagine you're in charge of some optical somewhere and the law changes one day. Now you can hire/contract an OD for $45 or $50 per hour or per exam to write Rxs and do "eye exams" in your little box with an optical attached to it. Or, you can hire/contract with a refracting technician to sit in the same box writing the same Rxs, but he or she will only charge you $15 /hr or exam. Hmmmmmm......I wonder which one you should choose.
If you read about America's Best and you think to yourself, "I'd never practice in a place like that - I'm going into private practice," you need to really consider what the future holds. There are many, many new grads out there right now working in jobs they never dreamed they'd get forced into. For every "success story" of some new grad working in an OD or MD office for 75K/yr with benefits, there's 20 more working 4 or 5 PT Walmart/Sam's days, trying to make ends meet.
This is real stuff and it's not going to go away any time soon.