This summer, ASCO is launching the Inspiring Future ODs Program, a practitioner-based career marketing effort that encourages Doctors of Optometry to speak to their patients and other qualified young people about optometry as a rewarding career. The program is part of the ASCO-American Optometric Association Applicant Development Project to further develop a robust, diverse and highly qualified national applicant pool, which began in September 2011.
Doctors of Optometry are essential to ASCO’s career marketing efforts. According to the Association’s annual matriculating survey and the optometry school application process, the majority of first-year students and applicants indicated that their decision to choose optometry as a career was due to the encouragement of a practicing optometrist.
For practicing optometrists who would like to help inspire future members of the profession, ASCO offers free, readily available materials. Details about the materials and how to receive them can be found at the ASCO website. A snapshot of what’s available:
• “True Stories” booklet. This colorful and engaging booklet conveys to prospective students a wide array of true stories about how optometrists improve the lives of real people — significantly and immediately — through the gift of sight.
• “Be a Doctor of Optometry: Put Your Future in Focus” video. A diverse group of students, faculty, administrators and practitioners give their perspectives on the appeal of an optometric career, including the ability to make a difference in daily lives, the unlimited career opportunities, work/life balance, and how vision is our most valued sense. All ASCO videos are available on the ASCO YouTube channel.
• “Be a Doctor of Optometry” PowerPoint presentation. This presentation, available for download, provides a convenient way for practitioners to talk about the profession of optometry. Comprehensive and presented in a simple and visually engaging manner, it includes information about what Doctors of Optometry do, types of practice, career outlook, educational requirements and more.
• Optometry Marketing Card. These cards, designed to be placed in the optometrist’s office, contain key facts and online resources that are available for practitioners, presenters and other influencers to use to start the conversation with prospective optometry students.
Another resource is the Applicants and Advisors section of the ASCO website, which contains FAQs, an Optometry Career Guide and other helpful information.
For more information about the Inspiring Future ODs Program or the Applicant Development Project, please contact Paige Pence, ASCO’s Director of Student and Residency Affairs.