A year after its establishment, the Early Career Optometrists NSW ACT (ECONA) committee is already making a significant difference to the professional development of young optometrists.
A dedicated CPD stream for early career optometrists at Optometry NSW/ACT’s annual Super Sunday attracted 100 attendees – twice the number anticipated and ECONA Chair Margaret Zhong said feedback had been positive.
“We wanted to deliver good, relevant and engaging CPD – so we decided to have content delivered by our early career cohort to the cohort. We have a lot of passionate young optometrists coming through who have already gained some great experiences to share.” Ms Zhong said the committee is working to support optometrists as they commence their career journey.
“There’s a shock factor when you finish university and start practising – it’s often not what you expect, which can make the first 10 years challenging. A lot of them are concerned about the future of optometry – their scope of practise and the potential consequences of an over-supply of optometrists in metro areas. Some find they’re not completely satisfied with their practise but they’re scared to try something different.
“ECONA aims to create connections and start conversations so young optometrists can share ideas and experiences and inspire each other to pursue different areas of interest,” she said.
ECONA is also working closely with Optometry NSW/ACT to ensure young members are aware of, and receive the support they want and need from the Association at state and national levels.