It’s just us
Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, who aligns with optometry? While we may garner occasional outside support, often it’s just us. We’re the ones advocating for our profession and for our patients’ care. As Dr. Ben Casella, president of the Georgia Optometric Association, said to me, “If you have never felt lonely in a crowd, then go to the Capitol as an optometrist!”
The next time you write a patient a medical prescription, take just a moment to think about that privilege. These days, we take it for granted. Yet, that privilege didn't always exist and didn’t just magically happen. It took a lot of our predecessors with the foresight and the willingness to spend their time and their treasure to win that privilege for our profession so you can better care for your patients. Those of us in practice today are standing on the shoulders of giants past and reaping the benefits of their efforts.
The process for optometry continues every year. We need more young giants in our profession like Dr. Casella and Dr. Johndra McNeely, South Carolina Optometric Physician’s Association president-elect, to take up the mantle.
So, join or become active in your state association. Associations are our advocates in the political arena and always work for our best interests and the interests of the patients we serve. New and enthusiastic members are always welcome. Even if you’re not politically inclined, contribute to your state association’s political action committee (PAC).
It is entirely up to us. The only people who are going to ensure our ability to provide absolute state-of-the-art, cutting-edge patient care are optometrists. It’s just us.