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HomeminewsNSW Young Optoms Tackle Challenges of Future

NSW Young Optoms Tackle Challenges of Future

The future talent of Sydney’s optometry profession was on show when 38 attendees gathered at the most recent NSW Young Optometrists (YO) event to discuss the profession and potential career paths at the Dove and Olive Bar in Surry Hills on Sunday 14 June.

The optometrists, most of whom came from independent practices, heard from six speakers; Andrew McKinnon, CEO of Optometry NSW; Margaret Lam, optometrist and President of the NSW Cornea and Contact Lens Society; Shaun Chang, behavioural optometrist; Dr. Maria Markoulli, Lecturer at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of New South Wales; Susan Ang, head of the Cambodia Vision optometry team; and Monica Lette, the optometry referral liaison for a large group of ophthalmology practices across the country.

In the process they heard about challenges and opportunities that exist in retail and research, business perspectives of practice management; the advantages of travelling and working overseas; and the areas of contact lens fitting and behavioural optometry.

Stimulating Discussion
Young Optometrists executive Melody She said that in an era when there will soon be too many optometrists working in Australia, meetings like this helped to keep the profession alive and respected. “We can do this by… specialising and expanding the scope of the way we practise.”

YO Executive Rajeev Naidu said the broad range of career options discussed was inspiring. “The main aim of the event was to stimulate discussion among optometrists and get them thinking about the range of potential career paths available to them in optometry; from education, independent practice, specialty optometry, overseas and community eye care, ophthalmology practicing and industry consulting. Clinical optometry is not the only option available to optometrists. It is possible to find new and exciting challenges to keep you passionate about your job and make it a career,” he said.

Different from the Usual
With plenty of CPD events available for optometrists of all ages, it’s easy to assume that this was just another one, dressed up with a new marketing angle to attract the younger members of the profession.
Andrew McKinnon begged to differ.

“These sorts of events are quite different to the ‘usual’ CPD offerings,” said Mr. McKinnon. “These are about issues – they seek out challenging ideas and look to foster creative debate.

“These young optometrists are definitely our future. They care deeply about their profession and are keen to see it grow and prosper. But they are also realistic. They know there are challenges as well as opportunities and seem willing to put in the hard work to overcome the hurdles… they need forums to explore ideas, not just learn clinical skills.”

Which was exactly what the Young Optometrists group has achieved. With membership open to optometry students and optometrists who have been practising for 10 years or less, YO executive, Rajeev Naidu, said the aim is “to create an environment where YOs can feel comfortable voicing opinions and discussing issues relevant to optometrists early in their career”. Fellow YO executive, Daisy Shu elaborated on the important and ongoing role of Young Optometrists. “The events are tailored to optometrists in their early stages of their careers where they are able to make decisions about the course their career may take,” she said.

The next Young Optometrists event will take place from 3–9pm on Sunday 2 August at the Epping Club in Sydney. A Cornea-Copia of Surgery, will be presented by Dr. Peter Kim who will cover topics including developments in cataract surgery, refractive surgery, pterygium surgery, ocular surface squamous neoplasia and dry eye disease.

To register for this free event visit www.eventbrite.com.au/e/a-cornea-copia-of-surgery-tickets-17274934795