Tips4EyeDocs Daily for 02Jan2012, No.15 – If I was a student in optometry

FROM THE EDITOR

The new graduate of any of the optometry schools faces an economic landscape that hinted what became a stark reality at graduation. In 2008, a McKinsey survey found that CEOs were not optimistic for the next two years. Complicating the scene was the recent opening of three additional optometry schools that would pour forth even more optometrists.

The prudent optometry student should strategize even in their first year of study on how best to weather the highly competitive employment or practice environment. First, imagine where you will be living and working in 20 years. It’s difficult, but I have found that life has many twists and turns and what you though you would on year 1 may be distinctly different in year 20.

Second, maximize your flexibility and options by doing a residency. A residency won’t automatically open doors in private practice; it can expand your options if you choose to work within the VA, ophthalmology or even industry. With hundreds of candidates that may be applying for a position, standing out from the crowd is vital.

Third, sit for as many state license examinations that you can afford. Having a license in more than one state allows you to follow your dream, your spouse or the work and prevents being constrained to a single state. Sitting for a state license examination years later might not be as attractive.

Lastly, if private practice is absolutely your dream, consider talking and observing as many private offices as you can. Understand the business of private practice optometry. If you feel that you don’t know enough about business, take some courses at a community college or an extension program.

In summary, a graduate faces many more challenges than their forefathers. Preparing for your future has to start from the first day of your classes and will not stop until you have achieved the objective that you seek.

REFERENCES

Anonymous. Economic Conditions Snapshot, December 2008: McKinsey Global Survey Results. Available online at http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Economic_conditions_snapshot_December_2008_McKinsey_Global_Survey_Results_2280. Retrieved today 12/31/2011.

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT (Curated)

What makes a wise a leader? If you believe in the attribute theory of leadership then these 12 will be helpful in identifying a wise leader. The first, “align actions with ideals” is critical. Spotted on Twitter via @thedoctor013: RT @TheLadders: The 12 Most Obvious Signs of a Wise Leader http://bit.ly/vI5FX9.

This simple guide to financial controls for your personal life is also useful for a business. Remember your cash flow! Spotted on Twitter via @TouchFinancial http://bit.ly/rKJ6QF

CLINICAL CARE

Jung HJ, Chauhan A.Temperature sensitive contact lenses for triggered ophthalmic drug delivery. Biomaterials 2011 Dec 17.

Abstract: Ophthalmic drug delivery through eye drops is inefficient because of low corneal bioavailability and short residence time in tears. Contact lenses are ideally suited for extended and targeted drug delivery to cornea, but commercial contact lenses release ophthalmic drugs for only 1-2 h. This study focuses on dispersing timolol encapsulating highly crosslinked nanoparticles in contact lenses to increase the duration of drug release from 1 to 2 h to about 2-4 weeks. The highly crosslinked particles were prepared from monomers with multivinyl functionalities such as EGDMA (ethylene glycol dimethacrylate) and PGT (propoxylated glyceryl triacylate). The nanoparticles were about 3.5 nm in size and encapsulated 48-66% of the drug depending on the composition. Drug release studies in a diffusion cell showed that the particles released the drug for a period of about 4 weeks. The drug loaded particles were dispersed in hydroxy methyl methacrylate (HEMA) gels, which are common contact lens materials. The particle loaded gels release timolol in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) for 2-4 weeks at therapeutic dose, which is promising for extended drug release applications. The proposed mechanism of drug transport is hydrolysis of ester bonds that link timolol to the particle matrix which form during the particle formation process. The drug release profiles can be described by a first order reaction model with a temperature dependent rate constant. The rate constant of ester hydrolysis was significantly smaller than that in previous studies on timolol esters possibly due to steric effects and the low water content of the highly crosslinked hydrophobic particles. The results of this study provide evidences that contact lenses loaded with nanoparticles could be very useful for extended delivery of ophthalmic drugs.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

About Richard Hom OD, MPA

Dr. Hom holds Doctor of Optometry and Masters in Public Administration degrees and practices family eye care and consults on public policy, health information technology and program evaluation.
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