VSP Survey Finds Optometry Students Face Financing Hurdles When Pursuing Goal of Private Practice

Vision Monday shares highlights of a new study by VSP that underscores the financial challenges many optometry students run into when trying to enter private practice:

In a newly released study of career patterns among new optometry school graduates, VSP Vision Care surveyed optometry students during their third year in school along with their first year in practice, and discovered that 72 percent of respondents during their third year in school preferred to start their careers through private practice ownership, but only 15 percent of respondents became an independent eyecare professional practice owner in their first year of practice. 
Additional findings of the study show that: 

• 84 percent of third-year optometry students surveyed expect to own a private practice in the next five years. 
• During that same group’s first year in practice, 58 percent of respondents expect to own a private practice in the next five years. 
• 85 percent of first-year optometrists surveyed earn $99,999 or less 
• 76 percent of that same group carry $100,000 or more in debt 

As part of its commitment to supporting the continued success of private practice optometry, VSP Vision Care has programs available to help optometry students and optometry professionals enter private practice. Together VSP Vision Care and Essilor of America have distributed more than $54 million through the Vision Loans Program since its launch in 2003. The loans provide optometrists financing for first-time practice purchases, partnership buy-ins and refinance options. 

Since 2000, VSP has invested more than $1 million in financial awards to support nearly 200 optometry students interested in entering private practice. During the 2010-11 academic year, scholarships totaling $136,000 were provided by VSP to fourth-year optometry students across the country and Puerto Rico. 

“As the pressures of entering private practice and competition from alternative eyecare delivery channels grows so does our commitment to finding new and innovative approaches to keeping private practice strong for generations to come,” said Jim McGrann, president of VSP Vision Care. “We look forward to sharing some of those ideas in 2012.” 

Additional information about the scholarships and Vision Loans Program provided by VSP, Essilor of America and Vision One Credit Loans is available at www.vspglobal.com.

Taking the Show on the Road

ExamWRITER Educational Event logoWhat do Orlando, Phoenix, Houston, Pittsburgh, Boston, and San Francisco have in common? Give up? They are all destinations for ExamWRITER Educational Events in 2012. That’s right, we’re taking the show on the road, and we’re coming to a city near you!

It can be difficult at times to focus and fully engage with online training with the competing priorities that arise in the office. Sometimes it’s better to schedule time outside of the office where you can focus on training and learn how to get the most out of your ExamWRITER software. The ExamWRITER Educational Events are a great way to escape the distractions of the office and learn the advanced features of ExamWRITER in a hands-on setting. These interactive, in-depth workshops offer valuable face-time with experienced corporate trainers and industry experts.

These advanced courses for experienced ExamWRITER users are two days (Friday and Saturday). If you’re new to ExamWRITER, we strongly encourage you also to take the Thursday course for a total of three days (Thursday–Saturday).

In addition to the ExamWRITER training, we’re now also offering concurrent OfficeMate training in Orlando and Pittsburgh. This Friday–Saturday hands-on training will enable office staff to learn how to better manage the practice with the advanced features in the latest version of OfficeMate.

It is becoming increasingly important that your office harnesses the full power of OfficeMate/ExamWRITER. The ExamWRITER Educational Events are a great way to invest in the productivity and profitability of your office.

For dates, locations, and costs go to officemate.net/ossu_extension.aspx.

Flexon Extreme Frames for Active Lifestyle

Do you have the top-selling ophthalmic frame brand in the U.S. on your frame board? The product of choice for more than 20 million wearers, Flexon embodies the very best in eyewear, with memory metal that bounces back into shape, even after accidental bending. Flexon frames offer the wearer extreme flexibility, fit, comfort, durability, and style.

Exceptional eyewear that’s 25% lighter than standard metal frames, Flexon offers more than 200 frames in various styles and brands, including Autoflex, Flexon Magnetics, Flexon Kids, Nike with Flexon, X Games with Flexon, and Tres Jolie with Flexon. Flexon offers affordable prices with a two-year guarantee against defects in material and workmanship.

Marchon is the exclusive manufacturer of Flexon. Ask your Marchon sales consultant about incorporating Flexon into your practice or see the entire Flexon catalog on eBuy.