President’s Message

Welcome New Graduates!

It’s June, and every year two things really mark this month: beginning of summer season and graduation! Graduation is an exciting time – it marks both an ending and a beginning; it’s warm memories of the past and big dreams for the future. In the United States, twenty-three schools of optometry will graduate around two thousand or even more new optometrists this year. As they make the transition from being a student to being a full-fledged doctor, one cannot help but feel extreme joy and anxiety at the same time. For many graduates and residents finished with their training, the feeling of excitement may give way to some feelings of anxiety as the reality of finding a new job and impeding student loan payments set in.

This is where the organized community of optometry comes in to help. The California Optometric Association (COA) offers free membership for the new graduate until the end of the graduating year. COA has a wealth of information for new graduates through their CA OD Resource Guide. There is an entire section titled “step-by-step for new ODs” with a checklist on how to get the state license, DEA number, NPI, become a provider for difference insurance plans, and getting started in a practice. Additionally, COA offers classifieds and job matching services to connect those looking to hire an OD or sell a practice with those seeking employment or a new practice.

At a more local level, San Diego County Optometric Society (SDCOS) is also a resource for new graduates. Our Society’s Optometric Relations Liaison, Dr. David Sherman coordinates local doctors seeking full or part-time positions and fill-in work, as well as those interested in purchasing, partnering, or selling a practice. Please contact Dr. Sherman if you would like his assistance (odjobs@sdcos.org). Furthermore, Dr. Jennifer Chinn (chinn.jenn@gmail.com) and Dr. David Ardakani (dardakani@yahoo.com) serve as Society Membership Liaisons – they can also help with networking and connecting new members with current SDCOS members. The COA and SDCOS are here to help!

I will end with the quote from Nelson Mandela that stuck with me since my own graduation… “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

So, let’s congratulate the 2022 Optometric Graduates! And so the adventure begins!

Cheers!