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    Delaying the inevitable


    “If this state question were to be successful, then optometry is going to be back under the thumb of the big retailer again, determining what patient care is given and determining what can be sold,” Robison said in a recent interview.1

    I take issue with this statement. Over the course of my long optometric career I have worked in retail locations. I have never at any time had any member of retail management attempt to influence my patient care decisions.

    Oklahoma has an optometric scope of practice that is the envy of many states and a top-tier optometry school in Tahlequah. Oklahoma ODs can point with pride to their accomplishments, and Mr. Robinson is carrying out the directives of his 700-member state association.

    Yet as it has in 47 other states, progress marches on. Patients today demand convenient eye care and prompt if not instantaneous material delivery. The OKAOP has every right to pursue this course of action, but I fear it is delaying the inevitable.


    1. Denwalt D. Big retailers petition for in-store eye care in Oklahoma. The Oklahoman. Available at: http://newsok.com/article/5543964. Accessed 4/26/2017.

    2. Robison J. Vision care is a bright spot in Oklahoma’s healthcare landscape; Why does Wal-Mart want to change that? Tulsa World. Available at:  http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/opinionfeatured/joel-robison-vision-care-is-a-bright-spot-in-oklahoma/article_a19bb16c-040c-548e-bbec-026da0b9406f.html. Accessed 4/26/2017.

    Read more from Dr. Bowling here

    Ernie Bowling, OD, MS, FAAO
    Dr. Ernie Bowling is Chief Optometric Editor of Optometry Times. He received his Doctor of Optometry and Master of Science in ...


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