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The Podster Issue 1 – A Fresh Vision for Philippine Optometry

PODS’ most important advocacies are the protection of professional autonomy and the promotion of independent practice. As PODS president, I am committed to fully pursuing these objectives during my tenure, and beyond.

What ties these two goals together is the advancement of the community’s vision health. Professional autonomy ensures that optometrists will be guided in their practice primarily by what is in the patient’s best interest. Other factors (financial, etc.) should not override this consideration.

Independent practitioners, although not immune from these extraneous factors, are in the best position to control them. They are not subject to such pressures as would be the case in non-independent settings.

I believe these main advocacies should not only be addressed to practitioners but also optometry students. The latter are still open to new ideas and are relatively idealistic. And they have yet to be lured by the siren song of instant employment and income post-graduation. And when they learn that being on their own (but with a support network like PODS) can be more lucrative, the lesson will not be easily discounted. We should bear this in mind as we plan our programs and projects going forward.

Dr. Jehan Echavez-Zaragoza,
PODS President

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