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“The 3 Best CE Courses I Ever Took”

By David I. Geffen, OD

May 3, 2017

All ODs have to take CE to keep up their licensure. Be sure the ones you take help you enhance care to patients, while also making your practice more successful. Here are three that delivered learning that made a difference to my patients and my shared OD-MD practice’s growth.

Educational slides used in the continuing education course on irregular corneas that Dr. Geffen says has been a help in elevating patient care in his office. Dr. Geffen says conferences, such as the Global Specialty Lens Symposium sometimes offer this course.

Contemporary Concepts in the Diagnosis and Management of Keratoconus and Corneal Ectasia   
William J. Tullo, Andrew S. Morgenstern, Clark Chang, S. Barry Eiden

Why was this CE program so good?: This course is an excellent overview of the current state of diagnosing and treating keratoconus, corneal ectasia and irregular corneas. The lecturers provide a very easy way to understand the complexities of these patients, which we all see in our offices. Even if you do not see a lot of irregular corneas, it is important for every optometrist to diagnose these patients early to help slow down progression, and provide the proper treatment. All four of these doctors are tops in the field, and provide a wealth of knowledge and expertise.

Resulting practice improvement ideas: One of the most important things I have taken away from this course is that I need to start screening my patients much earlier in life than I have been for irregular corneas. The incidence of keratoconus seems to be going down with every study done. But if we catch these individuals earlier, we can correct their vision with more conventional treatments.

Revenue gain from lessons learned: In terms of added revenue, this course will help provide the doctor with the tools to use more advanced diagnostic testing, which can help in the treatment of irregular corneas. The vision correction treatments include sophisticated contact lens designs, for which the reimbursements are high. The ability to read topographies, and understand how to then create a treatment plan, enhances my patients’ care in my office.

Time and money: This course was four hours of the best time I have spent. It has been given at the Global Specialty Lens Symposium, and is well worth the cost!

For: This is a course I feel all optometrists should take to get a better understanding of irregular corneas, which is much more common than we think. Having this knowledge will allow the doctor to either treat these patients more effectively, or refer them to a practitioner who specializes in this area.

One of the dry eye courses featuring insights from Paul Karpecki, OD, that are available online. Dr. Geffen says dry eye is such a growing condition that every OD should regularly update their knowledge on the subject.

Dry Eye Seminars with Paul Karpecki, OD, FAAO
Why was this CE program so good?: Dr Karpecki is not only one of the most respected eye doctors in the country, but also maybe the best speaker in eyecare. While Paul speaks on many topics, I believe that his courses on dry eye therapy have created a paradigm shift in optometry. He has made the topic of dry eye a mainstream concern and brought to light how common this condition is. He has created an awareness, which has assisted many thousands of suffering patients, who now have doctors educated and concerned in treating dry eye.

Resulting practice improvement ideas: The great thing about listening to Dr Karpecki is there are always several takeaway points, which you can put into practice the next day. Doctors can implement several treatments for their patients with minimal cost and time. Small techniques, such as expressing the meibomium glands and using hot compresses routinely, are simple things we call all implement.

Revenue gain from lessons learned: Our practice now has a dry eye clinic. Optometrists are afraid of having their patients return for additional care, but this makes the office flow much more efficient, and allows the doctor to bill for these medically necessary visits separately from a general eye exam.

Time and money: In terms of investment of time and money, the course is offered at most major meetings, and is well worth the cost.  Most of the courses are two hours.

For: This course is appropriate for all optometrists and optometric technicians. It is good to have our staffs knowledgeable in this area, as a large percentage of our patients are suffering from dry eye symptoms.

One of the courses featuring Steve Ferrucci, OD, and Mark Dunbar, OD, at this year’s Optometry’s Meeting. Dr. Geffen says understanding more about the posterior segment of the eye helps enhance a practice’s medical eyecare.

Rapid-fire Posterior Segment Update by Steven Ferrucci, Diana Shechtman and Mark Dunbar
Why was this CE program so good?
: This course is a great overview of the posterior segment, given by a group of the most sought-after retinal specialists in optometry. The interaction between these three excellent speakers adds to the overall quality of the course. For the general practitioner, it is important to keep updated on common, as well as some uncommon, retinal disorders that we don’t see often in practice.

Resulting practice improvement ideas: Having a good understanding of the posterior segment is vital to every optometrist. For those of us in practices, in which we don’t see much pathology, it is important to get this type of information on a consistent basis to maintain our ability to detect patient problems early.

Revenue gain from lessons learned: This course is a huge benefit for patient care in your practice. We have added several pieces of equipment to assist us in detecting pathology as a result of going to courses like this one.

Time and money: The course is offered at some of the major conferences, like Vision Expo East & West and SECO.

For: This course is appropriate for ODs, not for support staff.



David I. Geffen, OD, FAAO, is a partner in Gordon Schanzlin New vision-TLC in La Jolla, Calif. Contact:













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