President’s Message

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June marks the beginning of Summer, a time where San Diegans flock to the beautiful beaches around town and enjoy the sunshine and warm weather.  Summertime also marks the time of year where Optometry Students graduate their final year school and become full-fledged Optometrists.  That may mean starting to practice or continuing on with one of the many Residency Programs around the country.  These first few transition months can be difficult for new graduates for a variety of reasons.  After completing the toughest examination period of their lives and finishing a goal that they set out on four years prior, the next steps could very well be unknowns.  The California Optometric Association and San Diego County Optometric Association can help make those daunting next steps a little easier.  Many of us were COA members as students (it’s free for students, which is a huge benefit) but many do not realize that their student membership continues to the end of the year in which you graduate.  This most recent group of graduates can take advantage of all the member benefits while they transition into a working professional. The COA provides Resource Guides to help with obtaining state licensing, DEA and NPI numbers, as well as getting credentialed with the various insurance plans in our state. Career resources are also available, such as job search tools and business/career webinars.  At the local level, SDCOS offers new graduates a variety of resources and opportunities to find their career path. Dr. John Fitzpatrick maintains our society’s classifieds and job connection list, which is a great tool if you are looking for a job, are looking to hire someone, and for people looking to buy or sell a practice.  Please reach out to him (jpfod@aol.com) with any inquiries.  The society newsletter and website also provide great information for new graduates or doctors new to San Diego.  Despite having these great resources at our fingertips, sometimes the best resource is reaching out to new graduates and new doctors in the area.  By showing them the benefits the COA and SDCOS have to offer, it can be extremely impactful and helpful to them while growing our membership and strength as a society.  It might also make this chaotic time of year a little more manageable.