Standards, Staining and Sincerity
BY JOSEPH T. BARR, OD, MS, EDITOR
I recently received a message from a former student about her optometry contact lens education and her current practice standards. She believes she is providing better care in her "corporate, retail" setting than she has witnessed in other settings. Corporate optometry is currently slowly but steadily approaching 50 percent of contact lens sales in the United States. This reminds me of a recent comment by a highly successful, well-known independent practitioner. He said, "The problem with corporate optometrists these days is that they are doing a really good job." When I was a student 30 years ago, the opposite was assumed.
My former student justified her opinion based on the time and thoroughness of her examinations and follow-up visits for her patients, especially her contact lens patients, her careful selection of lens care solution systems for each patient, and she specifically mentioned her use of fluorescein staining for slit lamp examinations. The latter was, of course, highly emphasized in her training. Indeed, she was concerned that all new silicone hydrogel lenses when used with some contact lens care solution systems may have associated mild to moderate corneal surface interactions. We then discussed that not all lenses and not all solutions have the same reactions. I was most struck by her sincere caring for her patients' best interests. This is typical of students. It's good to see this caring carry over into years of practice.