Like many of you might have, last month I attended the American Academy of Optometry’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Academic and professional meetings like this provide an excellent opportunity to meet with colleagues from across the broad range of our profession and beyond as well as a chance to directly engage with the people and organizations that help make our profession what it is.
Each year, the College has a large representation of faculty, residents and students at a variety of academic and professional meetings around the world. I applaud this strong commitment to the advancement of knowledge and understanding. Our work with academic and professional organizations plays a key role in maintaining the vitality of our profession. Indeed, sharing our collective knowledge and experience is the fuel that drives our profession forward, helping it to continue to thrive.
Academics are sometimes accused of living in an ivory tower, closed off and out-of-touch with the real world around them. But when it comes to educating health care professionals, the knowledge and innovation that gets advanced through academic collaboration and the sharing of ideas is precisely how new treatments and therapies, new diagnostic procedures and other advances in patient care emerge onto the scene. Without the educators, researchers, students and residents of optometry actively engaging in these activities, our profession would quite simply be left behind.
It is heartening to see the strong commitment that so many of us—not just at SUNY but from across the entire optometric community—have made to intellectual engagement and collaboration. In doing so, we are collectively keeping our profession strong.
David A. Heath, OD, EdM
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