Annual Optometric Business Conference Focuses on Education for Business Growth

IDOC president Dave Brown (l) with
IDOC CEO, Mark Feder, OD.

NORWALK, Conn.—The 2014 Optometric Business Conference hosted by IDOC drew independent eyecare professionals and their staff from across the country to Atlanta for four days of education. The agenda for the conference covered a wide span of topics including new technology, preventive eyecare, a review of the current state of health care and more at the educational event, held April 3 to 6.

During his keynote presentation, titled “The Power of Many,” IDOC CEO Mark Feder, OD, spoke about how, together united as one group, IDOC members can take great strides in the profession even during uncertain times in health care. "The world is changing, and we have to do something about it together," Feder said. "We need to protect the future of independent optometry and our revenue streams so the profession doesn't go the way of independent pharmacy," noting that small-business pharmacies are diminishing across the country.

(L to R) Dr. Adam Berger, Dr. John Nolan and Dr. Gary Morgan educated attendees in a three-part lecture about the consequences of overexposure to bluelight.

A featured session was a three-part lecture on the consequences of overexposure to blue light and how to help patients protect themselves from damage. John Nolan, PhD, international Fulbright scholar and author of more than 50 peer-reviewed reports on ocular health and nutrition, provided an overview of the science of blue light damage to the macula. Adam Berger, MD discussed co-management opportunities for ODs and MDs to prevent the onset of macular degeneration, while IDOC members Gary Morgan, OD Jennifer Stewart, OD, shared steps for implementation and education to the practice and patients of new ophthalmic lens technology and nutritional supplements.

Attendees were able to earn CE credit in sessions about the legal concerns they face in practice, such as dealing with HIPAA compliance and how to be prepared for associate doctors. Many staff members also participated in designated staff sessions on improving the patient experience and office communication. Nearly 50 vendor partners packed the sold-out exhibit room, introducing attendees to the latest technology, products and services available to enhance their practices.

With Dr. Feder (r), Dr. Craig Steinberg talked about optometric legal issues at IDOC’s annual optometric business conference.

A Morgan Stanley strategist detailed the ups and downs of the global economic landscape over the last century, highlighting the recovery path from the most recent downturn in late 2008 and the trends and cycles which occur as a result of debt fueling future growth.

The Optometric Business Conference is the annual gathering of IDOC members, which is also open to eyecare professionals not in the IDOC network. IDOC membership has grown to 1,800 independent eyecare professionals and the alliance reports it has tripled the size of its internal infrastructure in the past year. Many key personnel have joined the member services and member development teams, and president Dave Brown came on board earlier this year to lead these departments and increase awareness and membership for IDOC across the country. There are three additional IDOC University educational opportunities later this year. Visit for details, dates and locations for these programs.