By Roger Mummert
ROB Content Director
Nov. 13, 2019
More than 40 leaders in the optical industry and media gathered at the New England College of Optometry (NECO) campus in Boston on November 3-4, 2019, for the inaugural Industry & Employer Relations Meeting.
The symposium, which is slated to become an annual event, focused on how optometric education needs to change to meet the changing eyecare needs of America.
“While we believe that we do an excellent job of educating the next generation of eyecare providers, we see opportunities to continually improve,” said Howard Purcell, OD, NECO president. “We’ve invited industry and the optical media here because we always learn so much from you about how we need to evolve and grow.”
The symposium consisted of presentations from NECO faculty, a group discussion with NECO students and a tour of the Clinical Training Center and Clinic.
Following this, breakout groups met to generate and present practical recommendations for change.
Discussion centered on updating National Board testing, increasing engagement between faculty and the optical community, increasing the on-campus presence of optical companies, alliances and networks, and adding business courses to the curriculum.
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“We are extremely thankful for the time and input of so many industry partners,” said Gary Chu, OD, NECO vice-president, Professional Affairs. “With all of us working together, we gain a better understanding of the issues and develop achievable and sustainable plans for the future.”