Opening Cold – Part 3 – Tips4EyeDocs Daily – 18 Jan 2012 – Number 29

It is now the fourth year of your Doctor of Optometry program.  It’s been a long road and the end seem so near. Many sacrifices have been made;
so many that you feel that you had lost a big part of your early adult life.

While some 4th years have lined up residencies or salaried positions, a significant proportion are still considering the “toughest-nut-to-crack”, opening cold.  It is the most difficult because it requires skill and personal traits that supersede grade point average.  In some respects, being successful in this realm may be a better gauge of overall doctor skills than any other.

It seems that most who are lured by cold starts knew that from the very first day. They weren’t accidental. What drives a student to consider opening cold isn’t well known even though it has been much studied and much talked about.  It is a question that  remains incompletely answered even today.

Two factors that stand out, though, are drive and initiative. These two traits cannot be trained. They are there or not. t is a question that has bedeviled academicians for years. These factors strengthen an individual against insurmountable odds; the skepticism from friends and family; the scorn of peers.

If  a cold start is a the goal at graduation, then the preparation should start from the first day of optometry school.  Anything less may be construed as half-hearted. This means listening intently 24 hours a day, every minute of every moment to see how each tidbit of information can be related to opening code. Only with this kind of focus can an individual capitalize their education and past experience to success in a cold start.

In summary,  success in a cold start is not easily predicted. It is not guaranteed.  It is intangible. And it is available in those seek it.

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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