How Research Defines Optometry

Jeffrey J Walline, OD, PhD, FAAO gives his thoughts on research based education and how it changes clinical practice.

(Video transcript)

Cara Moore: Hi everybody and welcome to Optometry TV. I’m Cara Moore joined now by Dr. Jeffrey Walline. Thanks so much for being here.

Dr. Jeffrey Walline: Thanks for having me.

Cara Moore: Okay, so we’re talking about research-based innovation. So let’s start off by asking you why research is so important.

Dr. Jeffrey Walline: Research is really important for optometry because it’s what defines us as a profession. Without research we’d just be doing the same thing every single day. We consider ourselves technicians, but the research allows us to sort of expand our scope of practice better, manage our patients, and really makes us what we are today.

Cara Moore: How do you think research changes clinical practice?

Dr. Jeffrey Walline: I think it changes clinical practice on a daily basis. So the things that are being presented here at the American Academy of Optometry are quite often new and things that aren’t implemented in practice. When we learn these things, we put them into practice to better treat our patients. We are able to better care for them and make them better, more healthy in the long run. So an example, myopia control is a burgeoning area right now. Doctors learn about myopia control here at the Academy meeting and they can literally take some of that information and implement it on the next myopic patient they see in practice next week for example. They just presented results from the CITT study or the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial study and what they really found was that office based vision therapy doesn’t enhance our ability to read if it’s used alone. So what we now know is vision therapy makes people, makes the science of convergence insufficiency better, but it doesn’t necessarily make us better able to read. So we’ll have to implement more in order to best treat our patients.

Cara Moore: Where can practitioners go for the latest?

Dr. Jeffrey Walline: Really the great, the best way to learn about the newest innovations in optometry is here at the American Academy of Optometry meeting. We have scientific presentations that are short little 15-minute presentations. Where you get a whole bunch, a wide variety of information in just a very small, simple snippet. And then the continuing education here, the hour long classes really are top notch, and education that you really almost can’t get anywhere else. So I’d say they have lots of opportunities to learn the latest here.

Cara Moore: And benefits both the practitioner and the patient, keeping up this.

Dr. Jeffrey Walline: Oh, absolutely. Being, learning the latest of research is really important for practitioners, A, because it makes practice interesting, but B, because you can better treat your patients. And you can honestly tell your patients about the innovations that you’re using and build your practice that way. But mostly it’s to treat patients better.

Cara Moore: All right. Thank you so much for joining us. Really appreciate your time.

Dr. Jeffrey Walline: Oh, my pleasure.

Cara Moore: And thank you so much for watching Optometry TV.

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