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    3 tips to improve doctor-driven dispensing as a student


    Shelby MayThe views expressed here belong to the author. They do not necessarily represent the views of Optometry Times or UBM Medica.


    Lately, I have tried to focus on using doctor-driven dispensing to help refine my patient care. By prescribing for the patient’s specific lifestyle while the patient is in the chair, we help ensure he gets what he needs and not just the lowest common denominator when we send him to optical. As student doctors, we are in the best position to implement this.

    Here are three tips to improve your doctor-driven dispensing skills.

    1. Use your training to your advantage

    One of the factors that seems to hinder doctor-driven dispensing is the training required to make educated recommendations. It is vital to stay up to date on a wide selection of lenses, coatings, and contact lenses to give appropriate advice to patients.

    Previously from Ms. May: 5 true pieces of advice first-years hate hearing

    Training staff and ODs takes time that must come out of a practice’s already tight schedule. As student doctors, we are among the best product knowledge. Most of us are likely trying a new coating or lens out right now in our current frames.

    Those test lenses then become a great prop when we are sitting across from a patient explaining photochromic or blue light blocker lenses. Nothing builds trust in a product like showing a patient you use it yourself.

    Student doctors are being trained to take incredibly thorough patient histories to satisfy new billing and coding rules. A good history helps the student doctor better understand what the patient needs. Does the patient spend multiple hours a day looking at a screen? Suggest blue-light blocker lenses.

    A myope who cannot keep track of her sunglasses and cannot function without her specs would benefit from her OD prescribing photochromic lenses. Doctor-driven dispensing does not add much time to the exam when we are already asking the necessary questions.

    Shelby May
    Shelby is a third-year student at Southern College of Optometry. She is particularly interested in Vision Therapy and Pediatrics. Any ...


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