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    Why I’m thankful for optometric conferences


    I recall with some irony a meeting was taking place in Dallas that very weekend where the future of optometric continuing education was being discussed. Now, I do not claim to be well-connected politically. I am, though, a willing and enthusiastic consumer of optometric continuing education. Sometimes change can be good. But change for the sake of change rarely ever is.

    Related: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) to optometry

    I am of the opinion that the current regulatory body overseeing optometric continuing education does an outstanding job on a limited budget navigating the myriad state requirements for CE while keeping the courses as free as possible from commercial content and bias. That last part is particularly important, especially having seen firsthand what a free-for-all presentation with no guidelines looks like.

    Everything I ever needed to know about life I learned from my grandmother. Once, my grandfather brought me a bright shiny new Trailways toy bus that lit up when you ran it across the floor. Obsessed with discovering what made it run, that six-year-old took a screwdriver and a ball-peen hammer to the toy in a feeble attempt to get to its inner workings.

    Related: How point-of-care diagnostic lab tests help clinical decisions

    When my grandmother asked me what I was doing, without a ready answer I said meekly, “I’m fixing it.” She replied with words of wisdom I have never forgotten: “If it ain’t broke, son, don’t fix it.”

    I try to apply that lesson to most endeavors. Perhaps the optometric powers-that-be might want to apply it to optometric continuing education. 

    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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