Wake up optometrists!

However, somewhat ironically, I feel that many optometrists are still blind to the fact that it will not stay this way if we don’t pay attention to what’s happening to the profession as a whole. Issues such as the impending oversupply of optometry graduates, whether Medicare is sustainable, retail challenges, technological changes, and perceptions of ‘specialties’ will all affect our futures.Right now, we’re still at a point where we thankfully have stable jobs. But, examples all over the world have shown us that this may not be the case forever, and it certainly won’t if optometrists don’t wake up to the realities.This has been a personal interest of mine since university – I was really touched by my fellow optometry students and I wanted to do whatever I could to help make their lives better.My wish then was for th to be grounded and understand there are more important aspects to life than simply passing or failing at uni. This focus has now shifted to engagent, and there being more important things in life than money, status and other superficial pursuits.Instead, I believe everyone needs to ponder their own definition of success and consider the broader picture.{{quote-A:R-W:450-Q: If you’re feeling apathetic about the future, it’s your responsibility to take it into your own hands and do something about it. }}This is a massive generalisation, and I do want to recognise all the awe-inspiring work that is taking place within the profession. There are incredible initiatives from various optometry bodies all over the country. However, I also watch these groups struggle to mobilise grassroots optometrists, as too many of us rain unaware of the consequences of choosing to not pay attention.Some actively decide to opt out of developing their optometry career (and doing their part for the profession), and I have full respect for th – it is completely their choice.However, I also believe there are a group of optometrists out there who want more, but are unfortunately either unaware of their options, or don’t grasp the consequences of their inaction.Being engaged can be as simple as joining Optometry Australia, the organisation that fights for our profession, so that we can continue to do what we do on a daily basis, and live the life we want.But, if you’re feeling apathetic about the future, it’s your responsibility to take it into your own hands and do something about it.My solution has been to engage with optometrists on a grassroots level through Young Optometrists NSW/ACT, and through Optometry Australia within the NSW/ACT division. This has proven to be a challenge, but with milestones made that I am very proud of.This is a topic dear to my heart, and it is often raised among other passionate optometrists. One such woman is a close friend of mine Susan Ang. We share a dream to power optometrists and provide th with a space for self-discovery.We want optometrists to have greater awareness about topics and issues that will help th make informed decisions about career choices, and understand the potential impact they can have on their own profession.We feel blessed that we’ve somehow stumbled upon beautiful people and influences that have shaped our views, and allowed us to explore deeper what brings most value to our lives, and we wish for other optometrists to do the same.Having more colleagues with greater awareness and clarity not just with their career, but also their entire lives, can only be of benefit to the profession.One possible way we hope to achieve this is our inaugural Wellness Retreat for optometrists that will take place at the Dragonfly Village in Ubud, Bali. We are looking for optometrists of any age who want to make the most of their lives, live in true alignment with their values, and are interested in taking a break from their usual everyday life.My flights are booked. I’m excited to spend time with other optometrists who are looking to get away, learn about thselves, return with greater clarity, and also have a whole bunch of fun amidst the beautiful rice paddies.We all need a wakeup call once every so often, so for those who want more, or want to explore what they may want, let’s do this together. Ensure that we improve our awareness, so that we can make the right decisions for ourselves, and for our profession.The Bali Wellness Retreat will run from May 19 – 26 2018. ail for more details.

Name: Carina TrinhQualifications: B Optom/Sci (Hons)Organisation: Dresden OpticsPosition: Optometrist/OA NSW CouncillorLocation: SydneyYears in the profession: Six


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