By Darryl Glover, OD
August 10, 2022
The future of optometry holds exciting opportunities for ODs to enhance care, grow in their profession, and even improve society. Here is how being a part of MyEyeDr. is helping me shape the future of optometry for the better.
Expanding Access to Care
The future of optometry is full of excitement and the chance to change healthcare. As optometrists, we are the gatekeepers into the healthcare system. We set the tone for how patients consume healthcare. The future of optometry will meet patients where they are through digital technology and on-demand services.
Patients will be able to experience a comprehensive eye exam from the comfort of their homes and in other convenient locations. The metaverse, augmented and virtual reality will create scenarios to help mimic real life to show patients how solutions prescribed by their doctors will impact their lives. Optometrists will move away from being data-gathers and focus on education and engagement with their patients. The future of optometry is digital with better engagement from doctors.
Joining the Leader for Patient Experience in Vision & Wellness
At MyEyeDr., it is in our DNA to be the leader in patient experience in vision health and wellness. To make this happen, we understand that it’s imperative to partner with organizations that are leading change and reflect the change that we seek. Below are some industry initiatives we have partnered on to help shape the future of eyecare in a meaningful way:
• We strongly support and believe in the American Optometric Association (AOA). The AOA plays a critical role in the success of our profession. We support the AOA on all levels by paying, or reimbursing, dues and membership fees. We are founding and active members of the AOA Advocacy Roundtable, support AOA Cares initiatives and collaborate on professional development programs like the multi-tiered paraoptometric certification program.
• The demographics of the U.S. are changing. Currently, the minority population has become the majority for people under the age of five. MyEyeDr. has developed partnerships with organizations like Black EyeCare Perspective, which I co-founded, and the National Optometric Association. We provide resource centers for our team members to learn more about diversity and inclusion.
• To secure the future of eyecare, we must invest in optometry students. MyEyeDr. is intentional about this, which is why we maintain a strong presence at optometry schools. We provide insight into all aspects of optometry, from private practice to medical optometry. Additionally, we mentor students and provide resources to assist them with navigating their academic careers, ultimately setting them up for success upon graduating. Lastly, we have a robust externship program that provides students with real-world experience. We host over 50 externship sites and have partnerships with over 18 schools to provide in-depth clinical knowledge and practice management to all our externs.
Broadening the Profession
Imagine going through school and seeing few colleagues and professors who look like you. Imagine not seeing yourself in leadership-level positions. This is the reality for Black eyecare professionals. Black EyeCare Perspective was created to cultivate and foster lifelong relationships between Black eyecare professionals and the eyecare industry. Our goal is to:
• Create a pipeline for Black students into optometry.
• Connect communities with Black eyecare professionals and Black eyecare businesses.
• Cultivate relationships between Black ODs and opportunities within the eyecare industry.
MyEyeDr. has supported Black EyeCare Perspective in numerous ways ranging from the financial support of our initiatives such as IMPACT HBCU, through mentorship for our students, job opportunities as technicians and doctors and shadowing in our locations.
Expanding the Boundaries of Optometry
To continue to expand our scope and protect our current rights, it is imperative to support our profession and control the narrative of what the future of eyecare feels and looks like. At MyEyeDr., we invest heavily financially and dedicate countless hours with the AOA to expand the boundaries of optometric care. Additionally, we work with insurers to help create a better experience for our patients through digital technology. We are the gold standard for providing comprehensive digital eye exams through our visual-assisted eye health exams.
Helping Patients Live Their Best Lives
I joined MyEyeDr. in 2014 as part of the Eyecare Associates acquisition. As an associate doctor, I was unsure of what to expect, but I trusted our Eyecare Associates owner, Stephen Bolick, OD. Staying was the best decision I ever made in my life. I have had many experiences that are rewarding, but the most rewarding is the opportunity I get every day to help patients live their best lives by practicing full-scope optometry. In my community, I am respected and considered a leader, and I owe that to MyEyeDr.
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The leadership, culture and infrastructure of MyEyeDr. allow me to help patients live their best lives. Anything we bring to the business must serve the best interest of our patients. Our diverse executive leadership team constantly engages with all levels of the business, from office level to senior management. Our leadership continuously looks for ways to improve the associate experience, which, in turn, improves the overall business and patient experience.
Our culture and core values position us to always place the patient experience first. MyEyeDr.’s strong infrastructure creates the ultimate patient journey and experience.
Darryl Glover, OD, practices at MyEyeDr. in Raleigh, N.C. To contact him: Darryl.Glover@myeyedr.com