|Action||Changes to continuing education|
|Comment Period||Ends 12/30/2015|
I am proud of the CE discussion and action that our State Board of Optometry is taking. This is a long time coming and shows they recognize the flaws in our current requirements, are looking at the changes in healthcare and technology, and most importantly are protecting the public. These changes help make the VA CE requirements more comparable to all other states. The changes do not make VA's requirements any stiffer than the national average. Currently, VA is the only state to not require any "live" CE. The educational value of recorded online and journal CE courses is very questionable. Having no in-person requirement is not in the best interest of the profession and more importantly not in the best interest of the public. Is every other state mistaken about the benefit of in-person CE? There are more opportunities than ever for in-person CE, therefore travel costs and time lost in practice can be greatly minimized. And allowing "live webinars" to be equivalent to in-person CE is a good compromise for doctors in rural areas. Because of the flaws in the current VA requirements, optometrists have been extremely fortunate compared to every other state. Any CE change will minimally increase the costs, but VA practitioners will still be spending less to maintain their license than in the majority of other states. The proposed CE enhancements ensure VA optometrists stay current, have access to the most advanced technology and training, and can provide the highest level of patient care...without putting undue burden on optometrists. With all the rapid and sweeping changes in healthcare it is good to see our state board recognize the need for these CE improvements and looking out for the public.