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President's Report

Insight 1st quarter 2020

President's Report

People say time flies when you’re having fun and I couldn’t agree more. Like former FOA presidents before me, I have traveled the state over the last six months to personally share our vision of the profession. At every stop, optometrists believe the same basic premise…we are, and should be, the primary eye care provider. The problem is we don’t always have the same understanding on how to remain as such. 

One thing I do know is we all want to deliver the best care possible, whether it’s determining the proper glasses or contact lens prescription, treating the dry eye patient with more than an artificial tear, or diagnosing a potentially life-threatening illness. Providing the best care for our patients is our common belief. 

So how do we remain the primary eye care provider? The FOA believes the key is involvement. 

Your FOA team has been involved. We were involved with the AOA to stop our state attorney general from signing a nationally-circulated letter by 1800 contacts supporting extension of contact lens prescriptions without an in-person exam. We were involved to provide testimony at the January Board of Optometry meeting, stating a stereoscopic pharmacologic dilated fundus exam is superior to a retinal photo while four telemedicine companies claim photos can replace dilation. We remain involved in the legislative process as outside forces try to force legislation through that would take away our ability to call ourselves physicians even though we are recognized by CMS as such. We remain involved nationally, as a former FOA president is now running for an AOA trustee position, allowing us a bigger voice on a federal level.

What we ask of you, as members, is to stay just as involved. Attend meetings at the local and state level. Invite nonmembers to the meetings so they can see what the association offers. Invite new doctors to a lunch or dinner and become a mentor. Talk to your city and state representatives about what it is you do for your patients. And if you don’t have time to offer, donate to our OD-EYEPAC so we can spend our time protecting and educating the public about optometry while you continue to practice it.

So, as I continue to travel around the state sharing the FOA’s vision, I am excited to hear more of the concerns and goals of our members. I also look forward to continuing our goal of remaining the primary eye care provider. I hope you’ll join the whirlwind and that I’ll see you soon!

As our new AOA trustee candidate would say, “All in for optometry”.




Bryan Stam, O.D.

Florida Optometric Association, President  


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