MilesDavisTheDoctor

2+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2017
66
62
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Medical Student
Much is made about ODs wanting to do surgery but are they just trying to encroach on really simple or routine stuff? Would they actually be trying to do procedures that take fellowship training as an ophtho like glaucoma or retina detachments? I'm someone interested in the field and just trying to understand exactly what I should be worried about lol.
 

percyeye

7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2011
234
269
Status
Optometrist
The Ophthalmology and Optometry war is slowing down somewhat. I've seen some staunch anti-Optometry groups hire their first OD and then quickly hire more because it made their office much more efficient.

I personally have never heard another OD say they were interested in or doing surgery. Expanding scope will continue to happen.

But around here Ophthalmologists are killing it. If you do a fellowship in Retina or Glaucoma please consider the rural Midwest we are in a severe shortage. I can hear the pissed off tone in their notes when I send a patient for a consult and they don't need surgery because they are backed up with so many other patients that need surgery. That being said I have a great relationship with all of them around here.

Cheers
 
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ball123

7+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2013
43
30
Status
Resident [Any Field]
All fear mongering

Optometrists may gain privilege to do a few small procedures like subconj injection or chalazion injection or botox but no way in the world will they ever gain true surgical rights (trabs, tubes, buckles, cataracts, vitrectomies, transplants, migs, etc.). Things you learn in fellowship. Furthermore, opmetrists don’t even want to do surgery to begin with.

The encroachment was maybe a “big deal” a few years ago but it seems to have died down a bit. There’s nothing us ophthalmologists should fear regarding job security. We’ll be very much needed.

With that said, it’s still paramount to go to legislation and advocate for our specialty. Can’t stress how IMPORTANT this is!
 

MstaKing10

10+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2009
614
171
Status
Attending Physician
Furthermore, opmetrists don’t even want to do surgery to begin with
I hear this a lot. Then why lobby for surgical privileges? Should be an easy question to answer right?

I realize when you limit the definition of surgery to procedures performed in the operating room or surgery center then perhaps this is correct. But we all know there is a grey area, and there is discussion of in office cataract surgery or vitrectomy in the near future. And many of these procedures are performed in surgery centers though without anesthesia presence. I think it’s very disingenuous to say optometrists don’t want to do surgery on the one hand then lobby for privileges on the other.

I also hear that ophthalmologists only wants surgery and gets irritated by non surgical consults argument by optoms quite often (at least here on this forum). There is nothing further from the truth. At least in my area we welcome consults and quite frankly wish referrals were made sooner rather than later.

I don’t know where the “cooling down” idea is coming from but this is also not true. These issues are a constant area of debate in many states. And the access to care argument (another one I hear quite often) is simply not well founded, as many trainees and residents in optometry end up practicing in metro areas not in some rural area.
 
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MstaKing10

10+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2009
614
171
Status
Attending Physician
With that said, it’s still paramount to go to legislation and advocate for our specialty. Can’t stress how IMPORTANT this is!
Ophthalmologist are horrible at this. We should all donate to our local societies and the AAO as well as the OphthoPAC. Optometrists are much better at this and are thus well funded with a strong legislative lobby.
 

airplanes

10+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2008
7,419
289
The Danger Zone
Status
Attending Physician
Ophthalmologist are horrible at this. We should all donate to our local societies and the AAO as well as the OphthoPAC. Optometrists are much better at this and are thus well funded with a strong legislative lobby.
Are they "better" or just more numerous? My sister is an optometrist and there is little to no pressure or outreach to donate anything to local, state or national associations. She has never received an invitation to donate to a scope of practice battle fund and is in a state where they are trying to get one passed.

I think "Big Optometry" flush with cash may be a myth ophthalmologists like to believe. Maybe it makes us feel more threatened. That being said, the fight for more privileges is always going to be a bigger motivator than rallying to maintain the status quo.
 

MstaKing10

10+ Year Member
Aug 17, 2009
614
171
Status
Attending Physician
Are they "better" or just more numerous? My sister is an optometrist and there is little to no pressure or outreach to donate anything to local, state or national associations. She has never received an invitation to donate to a scope of practice battle fund and is in a state where they are trying to get one passed.

I think "Big Optometry" flush with cash may be a myth ophthalmologists like to believe. Maybe it makes us feel more threatened. That being said, the fight for more privileges is always going to be a bigger motivator than rallying to maintain the status quo.
Several family members are optometrists as well. Excellent doctors. Their experience has not mirrored your sisters. May be a regional thing but there’s much more emphasis on getting involved and donating to the cause.

According to the AAO,
Optometrists participate in federal PAC giving at a rate of about 300% more
than ophthalmologists. And there’s definitely more of them. This doesn’t strike me as myth
 

airplanes

10+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2008
7,419
289
The Danger Zone
Status
Attending Physician
Several family members are optometrists as well. Excellent doctors. Their experience has not mirrored your sisters. May be a regional thing but there’s much more emphasis on getting involved and donating to the cause.

According to the AAO,
Optometrists participate in federal PAC giving at a rate of about 300% more
than ophthalmologists. And there’s definitely more of them. This doesn’t strike me as myth
Optometrists donated 1.35MM in the 2019-2020 cycle to their national PAC and 1,521 donors gave more than $200 (largest was 3k). Ophthalmologists donated 669k in the same period, with 847 donors above $200 (largest was 5k).

There are an estimated 46k ODs in the country (5k/8.5% increase since 2014) vs. 18k MDs (stable since 2014). Doing the math, the average OD donated $29.5, the average $37.

If you have other sources, please correct me. Back to my original point, it seems many more ODs are simply donating 25% less and all that adds up to double our budget. Not sure where the claims that they give "300% more" or are "much better" derive from.

That being said, MD comp really should allow us to double or triple (quadruple??) their average donation. We can and should be doing more to make up the deficit, no matter why it exists. I am just tired of hearing that ODs are all taught to give back or have some overwhelming loyalty to their academy while Ophthalmologists sit complacent on the sidelines.
 
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