The Game is Changing—Lead the Change

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When I graduated from optometry school, I started practicing in a hospital setting but quickly moved over to private practice. I wanted the ability to make my own decisions, so I could take care of my patients more efficiently and effectively. To me, that’s the real benefit of private practice: as soon as new technology or information becomes available, I can start applying it and customizing my patient care without being ruled by an outside source that’s telling me how to practice. This freedom enables me to embrace change, and to maximize new technologies and data to ultimately benefit my patients.  

Like many other industries, the field of optometry is changing quickly, which may leave many doctors leery of what the future holds. To me, it couldn’t be a more exciting time to be in private practice. Yes, the game is changing. Let’s embrace the change and take part in it—let’s lead the change.  

What are some of these changes? If you look at the stats from the NIH, the rate of macular degeneration is going to double by 2050. The rate of diabetic retinopathy is going to double by 2050. Those sound like great opportunities in 2050, but really the opportunity is now. We can impact those statistics by helping patients understand how to minimize risk and reduce those numbers. 

This is just one example of how, as doctors of optometry, we have an opportunity to impact the lives of our patients. At the end of the day, did you make an impact on someone’s life? Did you inspire someone to make a decision that would benefit their life? It is my mission to educate my patients and tell them what they can do to protect themselves now to minimize their risk in the future and reduce those NIH stats.  

The VSP Global Premier Program provides opportunities for me to further this mission by bringing more patients into my office, so I can provide care and education to more people. Then, it’s my job to continue to learn, to gain knowledge, and to put that knowledge into bite-sized, tangible nuggets my patients can implement every day to change their lives.  

As I see it, the future of optometry is bright. I see it in the students who work in my practice, who embrace new technologies and are excited about the possibilities in the industry. And, I see it in all of the opportunities we have to seek out new information, to act on it, and to make a real impact on our patients’ lives.  

Hear more from Dr. Heidi Pham-Murphy.  


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