NSW Young Optometrists in Sydney
By Rebecca Li
The latest Young Optometrists (YO) event, ‘Too Many Optometrists’, inspired the 38 attendees to broaden their horizons regarding their future job prospects, possible career paths and the future scope of optometry in the context of the impending oversupply of optometrists.
At the event which was held in Surry Hills on 14 June, Optometry NSW/ACT CEO Andrew McKinnon gave an introduction to the topic.
He reminded the audience that in 2005, there were about 190 new graduates in Australia. In 2016, this number is expected to reach 250.
Mr McKinnon emphasised that as a result of this influx of optometrists, individual practitioners and the whole profession will have to ‘think outside the box’ to compensate for the imbalance in supply and demand.
A panel of five optometrists at the event included Margaret Lam, practice owner and president of the NSW Cornea and Contact Lens Society; Shaun Chang, behavioural optometrist and founder of Eyes4Everest; Dr Maria Markoulli, Lecturer at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of New South Wales; Susan Ang, practice owner and head of the optometry team for Cambodia Vision; and Dr Monica Lette, optometry referral liaison for the Vision Eye Institute.
All the speakers highlighted the variety that exists within the profession and the importance of continually seeking opportunities for personal and professional growth. The panel showed that the scope of optometry extends beyond the consulting room into business, management, research, academia, overseas volunteer work and ophthalmology practices.
Following the presentations, the audience and panellists tackled questions such as ‘How would you like to see the industry grow?’, ‘How can we educate the public about the role of optometry?’ and ‘How can we work better with other health professions?’ Three of the panellist presentations are available to view on the YO Facebook page and Youtube channel.
The next YO event, ‘Cornea-Copia’ will be held on 2 August from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Epping Club, where Dr Peter Kim will provide the latest updates on various anterior eye surgeries. Afternoon tea and dinner will be provided. Register online