The same holds for the Texas Optometric Association. Our state organization helps build each of us up by having the power to represent a large number of optometrists. Optometry is now, as it has always been, squeezed between several powerful political groups.
– Reid Robertson, OD
Unfortunately, we have to struggle against the AMA with its clout as it tries to limit every procedure that we can perform. We must contest against large corporations like America’s Best, 1-800 Contacts, and Essilor Luxottica who are trying to change laws, deregulate prescriptions and cut out optometry to facilitate higher profits for themselves. We also fight with insurance companies that continuously search for ways to deny us reimbursement for our services so that they can continue to post record profits.
The TOA is our tool to fight against these pressures. With the mindboggling scale of the difficulty that we face in trying to fight off these exterior pressures on our careers and livelihoods, it’s almost comical that one of the most significant actions we can take to help is incredibly simple. Join the TOA and contribute to them.
Sometimes, I know that we may disagree with someone in leadership at TOA, which is natural and bound to happen. They are also not always going to be able to show success and wins. They fight a lot of difficult fights on our behalf and sometimes they will lose. One thing that I can guarantee is that if they do not have the support of optometrists that join and contribute, we will not only fail to progress as a profession, but we will lose the scope of practice that we currently enjoy.
Attending the TOA Summit in Austin each year is always fantastic. It is a great gathering of some of the most successful doctors in Texas. There is always an enlightening exchange of ideas. For me, it has also become a small reunion for my friends from optometry school.
I recently found out that in the TSO organization, we only have around 40% membership in the TOA. I do not want to offend, but that membership number is pathetic. We need to embrace the visionary spirit that is in our core values and support the group that builds our profession. If you are not a member, please join. Let’s come together and build a better future for ourselves and our profession.