Welcome New Graduates!

June brings with it sunshine and summertime, but also graduation season!  Across the United States, young doctors are being released into the wild filled with the excitement and enthusiasm such an achievement deserves.  Some will be moving on to residencies and fellowships to further their specialization and experience.  For many graduates and residents finished with their training, the surging feelings of excitement may give way to some feelings of anxiety as the reality of finding a job and impending student loan payments sets in.  Many may find themselves wondering… what now?

The California Optometric Association (COA) is here to help!  Student membership in the COA is free and so optometric schools often encourage doctors to apply while they are students.  Graduating student members receive the entirety of their graduation year for free and do not have to begin paying for membership until January.  As a result, most graduating students are automatically new member doctors and can enjoy the benefits of COA membership in their search to begin their careers.

The COA offers its members an Optometrist Resource Guide.  This manual is available online and can be useful to new doctors as well as current doctors looking to update or change the focus of their practice.  The guide walks members through getting their state license, DEA number, NPI, become a provider for difference insurance plans, and getting started in practice, whether that is starting a private practice or becoming an employed optometrist.  COA’s online educational resource EyeLearn provides numerous free business and career success webinars.  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.

The San Diego County Optometric Society (SDCOS) offers local resources to new graduates as well as those seeking a change in their practice.  We offer a unique job connection service which is run by Dr. Jack Anthony our Society Optometric Relations Liaison.  Dr. Anthony 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. Anthony if you would like his assistance (optojack@gmail.com).  Furthermore, Dr. Eric White currently serves as the Society Membership Chair and can also help with networking and connecting new members with current SDCOS members (ericwhite@gmail.com).  In addition, the SDCOS newsletter and website keep a current list of classified ads that can include potential work opportunities.  Plus, don’t forget our fantastic and free local continuing education to fulfill requirements to maintain your license.

This year we are throwing a new member BBQ for new optometrists on June 5th from 1-4pm.  If you have graduated within the last few years and either live or are considering practicing in San Diego, we would like to get to know you better and welcome you to the family of SDCOS.  Contact nancy-jo@sdcos.org to RSVP and get further details.  Ours is a fulfilling, but challenging profession which has the opportunity to be redefined with each legislative cycle.  With every member we make each other stronger and we would love for you to stay lifelong members.  Congratulations and welcome new doctors!