255913 Planning for the Supply of Eye Care Providers

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 3:30 PM - 3:50 PM

Mort Soroka, PhD , Center for Vision Care Policy, State University of New York College of Optometry, New York, NY
This paper explores issues that affect the supply and demand of optometrists and ophthalmologists. Supply of eye providers must be determined and related to demographic and economic and epidemiological factors that increase the demand for eye care services. Enrollment trends at the colleges of optometry and the anticipated increases in the national supply is discussed. New schools recently opened and their impact on the supply of eye care providers needs to be assessed. The SUNY College of Optometry initiated the New York Workforce Study to guide enrollment strategy and to ensure that future workforce needs in the State are met. An analysis of the supply of eye care providers, optometrists and ophthalmologists was undertaken. The New York State based optometry school contributed to an overall increase of optometry practitioners in the state over the past 40 years, although the net increase in providers has now slowed to approximately 1% per year. During this same period, the number of ophthalmologists has not kept pace with practitioner attrition nor population growth. Despite the contributions of the state-based school to the supply of optometrists within New York State, the net increase in optometry providers is now barely keeping up with the attrition rate. The supply of ophthalmology in New York State has decreased over the past decade and a more substantial decrease in their numbers is projected by 2030. National and state planning for workforce requirements must consider a number of factors and options to provide an adequate supply of eye care providers.

Learning Areas:
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the economic, social, political and epidemiological factors that impact on supply requirements for eye care providers 2. Examine the enrollment trends at colleges and schools of optometry 3. Describe the increased supply and the new and emerging schools 4. Identify factors that play a role in the need for more practitioners 5. Discuss the lack of national planning for eye care supply needs

Keywords: Workforce, Access and Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Mort Soroka is a professor of public health at the State College of Optometry and the director of the Center for Vision Care Policy, State University of New York. A member of the Workforce Taskforce of the American Optometric Association. He is the Director of the Optometric Society of New York. He received grants from the American Optometric Association, The National Board of Examiners in Optometry, and VSP
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.