SECO presentation

Eric White, OD, and Thuy-Lan Nguyen, OD, spoke at the SECO Symposium on Feb. 26 in Atlanta, GA. Here’s a look at their highlights from the event and an invitation for you to join the conversation.

Drs White and Nguyen

A Snapshot of the SECO Symposium: What Keeps You Up at Night?

By Melissa Paul March 01, 2016

Impressions of SECO and the Symposium

Dr. Thuy-Lan Nguyen:
“SECO is a fantastic conference that brings together thousands of ODs and our staff every year and allows us to expand our horizons and learn the latest technology. I was so proud to be involved in such an important discussion about changes in our industry and what keeps us all up at night. During our Symposium, Dr. White highlighted some of the ways he has built a successful practice by embracing technology and treating all his patients like family. And I was happy to talk about how I manage Millennial patients that suffer from digital eye strain.”

Dr. Eric White:
“This was my first visit to SECO but definitely not my last. Everything about the conference was first class, and I felt the attendees were more engaged than other conferences I have been to. The Symposium shared real world examples of how to embrace technology and help our practices grow — I loved that, and I thought the exhibit floor was fantastic with a ton of first class exhibitors ready to help each of us grow our practices. Loved it!”

Symposium’s focus on industry changes, business savviness, and technology

Dr. Nguyen:
“We are all seeing changes such as online and mobile technology that threatens to change optometry as we know it. When I entered the profession 14 years ago, I never would have imagined the idea of online refractions or a mobile world and the digital technology that we are all dealing with now.”

Dr. White:
“I have seen changes throughout my career but now more than ever the changes are building up speed. We need to embrace the changes both with the technology in our office but also with social media because our patients are much more savvy than ever before.”

Where is the profession heading?

Dr. Nguyen:
“I see our profession becoming more medical and truly able to affect the quality of life for our patients. I fear that patients don't see it the same way. The last thing I want is for optometry to become antiquated.”

Dr. White:
“We are going more medical but we cannot forget what we were trained to do — help our patients see well. We as a profession need to own computer vision syndrome and make sure we prescribe blue light technology on every pair of glasses. We need to make sure our patients are getting the best technology especially since they are on their electronic devices all the time. I feel the future is bright for optometry and private practice.”

With all of the changes, what are you doing to overcome the challenges?

Dr. Nguyen:
“We can overcome these challenges by embracing change and educating our patients one at a time. By finding a personal connection with each patient, we can increase the value of our examinations and offer them more than they expect from us, not less.”

Dr. White:
“We need not be scared of change but embrace it and continue to educate ourselves by reading the journals and attending the conferences. We need to continue to educate our patients and show them we care about them and want the best for them.”

Were you surprised by anything you heard from your counterpart?

Dr. Nguyen:
“I was surprised to hear that Dr. White takes the time out to e-mail each of his patients personally and that he gives his personal e-mail and phone number for patients to contact him. When I thought about it more, I realized how genius that is. He is allowing their experience to go beyond the walls of his office. I will definitely be doing that as soon as I get back to work.”

Dr. White:
“I loved when Dr. Nguyen talked about how her patient was getting eyestrain from watching movies--never thought that she was watching them on her phone. It taught me the importance of listening to our patients but not assuming anything.”

How do you get a better night’s sleep?

Dr. Nguyen:
“Remember that our world is constantly changing. We should never get too comfortable because if you are standing still, before you know it, someone will come up with something better. If we aren't open to change, we run the risk of being behind.”

Dr. White:
“The world is changing, but change with her, and always bring your patients with the change by educating them and treating them like family — because family stays with family.”

Were you at SECO last week? We welcome you to share your thoughts in the comments below on the topic “What Keeps You Up at Night?”

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