An additional 22 graduate optometrists have joined Specsavers, taking the total number of new optometrists to sign on with Specsavers in 2018 to over 100.

The latest group of graduate optometrists visited the Specsavers Support Office in Melbourne from 27 to 28 August for Graduate Induction, the first in a series of professional development events and touchpoints provided to graduates throughout the two-year Specsavers Graduate Program. The purpose of the program is to ensure the graduates gain the skills and resources they need to feel confident and supported in the early stages of their optometry career.

The induction included an extensive line-up of speakers covering a comprehensive range of topics designed to set each graduate up for success in the clinical, professional and commercial aspects of optometry. Importantly, the agenda was highly interactive, providing attendees with not only a broad overview of the fundamental areas of knowledge required to excel in their new roles, but also customised advice and information targeted to the graduates’ individual concerns, facilitated by an open discussion forum and multiple opportunities to ask questions.

Areas of clinical discussion included clinical decision making, problem solving, binocular vision and therapeutics, with other topics covered including professional communication, CPD, Medicare utilisation and how to work effectively within the store team. In addition to hearing from senior Support Office staff and a Specsavers optometry partner, the graduates heard from Marlene Boulos, a Specsavers Graduate Program alumnus, who shared her personal experience as an early career optometrist with Specsavers.

The graduates also heard about Specsavers’ burgeoning audiology business, as well as how they would be contributing towards the ‘Transforming Eye Health’ mission. An important backdrop to any Specsavers optometry event, the latter presentation covered the background and purpose of the current $40 million rollout of OCT and related technology into all Specsavers Australian and New Zealand stores. The importance of lifting eye disease detection and diagnosis rates was highlighted, along with the need for systematic routines in pre-testing and dispensing support, with graduates gaining an understanding of how they would be applying evidence-based clinical practice to deliver better patient outcomes within their communities.