The Division within Optometry – Tips4EyeDocs Daily for 09 Jan 2012, No 21

I belong to several optometrist-only social networks. For the most part, the interchanges have been civil, courteous and even professional. On the other hand, in a few instances, the interchanges have been downright unfriendly. How did we, as a profession, gravitate to being so unfriendly to one another?

Dissent, of course, is not new. What is new is the destructive nature of that dissent. While not just wanting to vent our opinions, we seem to be focusing more narrowly with single issues that even if attained, may leave us exposed to still another attack from yet another source. In many respects, optometry’s detractors are rejoicing as the profession is distracted from its overall direction, all the while consuming scarce and valuable cash and time resources, if not the fervor of our members.

Even though technology and our economy have transformed the way we live and work, many in the profession still believe that it remain a profession of the 1950’s and 1960’s. But the profession flourished because our leaders kept a strategic focus on how the profession must change and flourish 5, 10, 20 years hence. Why have our warring factions failed to yield to this strategic focus?

There are no easy or simple answers to our profession’s division. Whether we can heal our wounds to work together is problematic at this point as the exchange within our profession has been so acidic and acerbic. But, frankly, I don’t think it is too late to pool our wisdom and resources to combat what I think are our most pressing issues: access to medical plans, equitable reimbursement and a uniform scope of care throughout the United States. Dare I say that we might introspect and look to heal our wounds? Time will tell.


  1. This article by Patrick Maness holds true for any kind of marketing although this is for business-to-business Spotted on Twitter via @GeorgeHollister: RT @martinehunter: 6 Steps to a Successful (B-to-B) Direct Marketing Campaign at
  2. These trends are for health data in general. Foremost, I think, is mobile access to data. More and more, our society is becoming more mobile and heretofore, data has been accessible only through the desktop computer. Spotted on Twitter via @GrandRounds4ODs “11 healthcare data trends in 2012”


My overview: I thought about this article. The mechanics of corneal resistance may have importance in the various methods of intraocular surgical correction of presbyopia and refractive error. It also may give insight to the biomechanic etiology of refractive error.

Citation: Radhakrishnan H, Miranda MA, O’Donnell C.  Corneal biomechanical properties and their correlates with refractive error. Clin Exp Optom. 2012 Jan;95(1):12-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1444-0938.2011.00696.x.

Source: Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom, E-mail:

Purpose: The aim was to study the link between refractive error and corneal biomechanical properties.

Methods: Corneal hysteresis and corneal resistance factor were measured using the Ocular Response Analyser in 117 participants. The spherical equivalent refractive error of the participants ranged between -9.00 and +3.00 D.

Results: Corneal hysteresis and corneal resistance factor showed a considerable degree of variability between individuals. Corneal hysteresis was not found to correlate significantly with refractive error (p = 0.82). Corneal resistance factor showed a weak but significant correlation with spherical equivalent refractive error (r(2) = 0.04; p = 0.03), with myopic participants exhibiting a higher corneal resistance factor compared with non-myopes.

Conclusions: Refractive error accounted for four per cent of the variance in corneal resistance factor measurements, indicating that patients with mild to moderate myopia have higher corneal resistance compared with non-myopes.

© 2011 The Authors. Clinical and Experimental Optometry © 2011 Optometrists Association Australia.

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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2 Responses to The Division within Optometry – Tips4EyeDocs Daily for 09 Jan 2012, No 21

  1. Dr. Hom,
    Your post on Division in Optometry was interesting for a number of reasons. Optometrists are not unlike members of other groups – whenever you have an organization composed of persons with the capacity to think, you will have dissension. In many instances, the more learned the group, the greater the dissension.
    Dissent is not necessarily bad. in many instances, it is a healthy exercise that leads to positive outcomes. I think the problem arises when one faction becomes intolerant of the opinions held by others. That’s when the name calling and personal attacks surface and this does not serve the interests of either party.
    I would also agree that in these times of scarce and ever diminishing business and personal resources, along with mounting attacks by anti-optometry forces, the profession would be better able to protect itself by pooling resources rather than splitting them. But again, we are a profession of thinking individuals. As such, issues like Board Certification and stances on various third party entities will continue to cause dissent.
    Hope, however, springs eternal. Optometry has proven to be strong enough to withstand being torn apart by internal conflict. Recall another profession defining debate: Drugs. There were two camps (at least) with opposite opinions on optometrists being certified to use diagnostic and therapeutic drugs. If there are ODs today who still feel we shouldn’t have these tools in our armametarium they are few and their voices are silent.

    • Dr. Smith,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I agree that as independent thinking professionals, we are tasked with a duty to our patients and to our families. Sometimes, though, that dissent can be so acrimonious, so personal, that I doubt constructive negotiation or common ground can be achieved. Because we are a society that tries to achieve consensus, the lack of dialog or movement means that there is no movement at all. I think that is the value we hold as a society that we have the luxury of pursuing that kind of societal inefficiency.

      However, can optometry wait for the players to return to the table?

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