I was fortunate enough to spend some time chatting with Howard Purcell, O.D., the new president and CEO of New England College of Optometry (NECO), at The Vision Council Summit Series Optical Innovation Summit in Boulder, CO, recently. One of the biggest takeaways from our discussion—there is a tsunami wave of female optometrists poised to enter the workforce.
At NECO, Dr. Purcell noted that the student population is hovering at about 80% female optometry students (and 20% male). That is a huge sea change from just a few decades ago when these percentages were just about flipped.
“I joined corporate optometry because my husband was active-duty Navy, and moving every three years is not conducive to owning a private practice.”
—Melanie Ruoff, O.D., America’s Best in St. Louis, tells us in this issue’s The Future is Female. feature
According to the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), nearly 70% of the students enrolled last year as full-time optometry students in the U.S. were women. ASCO numbers also show that female optometry students have outnumbered male students throughout the last decade.
In this issue of Corporate Optometry Today! we dig even deeper into this key topic in our The Future is Female. cover feature (page 10) with must-read insights from 4 female O.D.s. Written by COT!’s contributing editor, Maria Sampalis, O.D., the article reveals why corporate optometry can be an excellent choice for women in optometry. Flexibility. Trust. Balance. Perks. All key considerations that make corporate optometry attractive.
There’s also much more in this content-packed issue of COT!, so keep on turning the pages. On page 14, check out our exclusive interview with Alex Smith, O.D., National Vision’s VP of professional service, O.D. development, who answers COT!’s 6 big questions—revealing how his company supports the optometrist network. Our New Grad column, on page 8, reveals why it’s critical to think about employer branding and reputation before taking the first opportunity laid out before you.
Want more? Check out our Facebook page: @CorporateOptometryToday! We hope you enjoy the issue!
Editor-in-Chief + Editorial Director
Corporate Optometry Today! + Eyecare Business