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    Students can make a difference with advocacy

    Use your knowledge to help those in need

    As I reach the end of my second year out of optometry school, I find myself reflecting on how the past two years have been such a rewarding experience.

    I’m thankful for the education I received that has equipped me to give my patients the best care possible. I want to thank all of my professors and clinical instructors for their time and commitment to shaping the future of optometry; it is to them I owe recognition and appreciation for my clinical knowledge and skill.

    Previously from Dr. Harmin: ‘Linking in’ to optometry

    The importance of advocacy

    Some lessons I learned about this wonderful profession were not taught in the classroom, however, and one of those is the importance of advocacy. Advocacy is defined as public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy. Advocacy can be as simple or as involved as you want it to be, but in order to effectively advocate, you need to understand your purpose, or cause.

    As doctors of optometry, we live and breathe ocular health. We spend four years after undergrad studying a myriad of subjects pertaining to vision and ocular disease. Once we receive our doctorate, we attend hours of continuing education lectures every year. We see patients, read journal articles, and participate in discourse with our colleagues on a daily basis.

    With all of this knowledge and exposure, the importance of a yearly eye exam is a no-brainer to us, and it is easy to forget that the public has very little, if any, education on the importance of ocular health. Unfortunately, many people view the eye doctor as someone they see every few years when they need a new prescription for glasses or contact lenses. The sad reality is many individuals who do not need glasses to see will go most of their lives without an eye exam.

    Harmin J. Chima, OD
    Dr. Chima received his doctorate of optometry from The Ohio State University. He currently serves on the Ohio Optometric Association ...

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