abcde

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I have noticed a change in language amongst those of us whom talk about the whole optometry thing here on this forum. A year or two ago (you can search and read past conversations) we were confident and blowing off the effect of ODs on the future of Ophtho. This is no longer the case. This is especially evident in the "Optometrc Physicians" thread on the OD forum. Reading some of the comments here I feel there is an underlying worry but noone is coming out and actually saying it. Is anyone willing to speak on this? We have one thread of a current job seeker in desparation and a huge list of the procedures ODs will be doing. From someone on the outside this seems bad; to put it simply.
 

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There is definitely a concern. Together, we need to unite and fight surgical scope expansion. Leaders in ophthalmology cannot ignore what is happening in OK, NM, and NJ.

The AAO Mid-Year Forum has over 30 residents coming to D.C. in April to learn more about political advocacy. This is almost double the number of residents who attended last year.

It's not over until the fat lady sings. If we give up the fight, then it will surely be over quickly. Educating patients and the public will be crucial in our efforts.
 
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abcde

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I am uneasy about the idea of the future of ophthalmology being in the hands of patient choice. The public choses based on their HMO, pocketbook...

If the government OKs this and it is cheaper, it is out of our hands at that point. Are we going to be able to maintain practices based on the fact that we have better training that the ODs. The only people that care or have any sense of what we go through is us.

I love everything about ophthalmology, but does anyone see a brighter side of this 20 years from now? It is hard not to imagine a struggle to get by.
 

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abcde said:
I am uneasy about the idea of the future of ophthalmology being in the hands of patient choice. The public choses based on their HMO, pocketbook...

If the government OKs this and it is cheaper, it is out of our hands at that point. Are we going to be able to maintain practices based on the fact that we have better training that the ODs. The only people that care or have any sense of what we go through is us.

I love everything about ophthalmology, but does anyone see a brighter side of this 20 years from now? It is hard not to imagine a struggle to get by.
First, there is no evidence that producing optometric surgeons will be cheaper for the government or insurance companies. Optometrists fight to bill at the same rates as ophthalmologists. Also, it is illegal to accept Medicare/Medicaid and underbill this amount; thus, I can't imagine anyone willing to do cataract surgery for less than what is being paid per surgery now by Medicare, ~$650 in Iowa.

Second, the public has money & votes, which ultimately influences public policy. Win the public's heart, and you'll influence the legislation. Physicians (MDs and DOs) do not look too good to the public right now. Read the US News article - http://www.nursingadvocacy.org/news/2005jan/31_us_news.html

Third, the federal government doesn't want to get involved - I met with key individuals on Capital Hill last year. The Feds want scope of practice issues to be a state problem and would like optometry and ophthalmology to work it out.
 
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abcde

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Thanks Andrew.

I see what you are saying, but it all seems to have gone a bit downhill in the last year or so. Most of us were optomistic not to long ago and are not so anymore.
Even before all of this, Ophtho has taken a few hits in the recent past. I know a few where I am who do a lot of complaining about their careers. It is not that they don't love ophtho either.
I guess I am wondering if anyone here has any of the optimism they had previously or of it all about fighting for the future now?
 

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abcde said:
Thanks Andrew.

I see what you are saying, but it all seems to have gone a bit downhill in the last year or so. Most of us were optomistic not to long ago and are not so anymore.
Even before all of this, Ophtho has taken a few hits in the recent past. I know a few where I am who do a lot of complaining about their careers. It is not that they don't love ophtho either.
I guess I am wondering if anyone here has any of the optimism they had previously or of it all about fighting for the future now?
I am still optimistic. Good physicians and surgeons will still have jobs. People who can play well with others will have successful careers.

I don't think things are changing as quickly as you imply. I think that more people are being educated through this forum and through their own research of the political nature of ophthalmology. Scope expansion has been around for several decades. Medical physicians are finally taking notice.
 

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abcde said:
Thanks Andrew.

I see what you are saying, but it all seems to have gone a bit downhill in the last year or so. Most of us were optomistic not to long ago and are not so anymore.
Even before all of this, Ophtho has taken a few hits in the recent past. I know a few where I am who do a lot of complaining about their careers. It is not that they don't love ophtho either.
I guess I am wondering if anyone here has any of the optimism they had previously or of it all about fighting for the future now?
I think most of us are still pretty optomistic. Afterall, lets not forget about the VA bill, which was a huge success for ophthalmology. The veterans strongly sided with the ophthalmologists in that dispute, so it's nice to know that we're the good guys.
 

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Correct me if I'm wrong but I heard that the VA Directive, allowing optoms to do laser surgery under OMD supervision, was actually withdrew by the optoms b/c they felt that they did not want any system where their scope of practice would be limited by someone else's supervision. I don't think that the VA had anything to do directly with the defeat of that bill.
 

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