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The year of vision

This was supposed to be the year of vision; 2020 began with so much promise for our profession yet we had no idea what was hiding in plain sight. A virus, COVID-19, would force a dramatic, almost complete shut-down of our nation and our practices. Non-urgent care and elective surgeries were cancelled. Our teams were sent home. We were simply waiting it out and in survival mode. 

I know many of you felt like I did. How do I keep my practice afloat and my staff employed with my clinic closed down? It was a sinking feeling to think we might not make it through this unprecedented event.

As a leader for both OMIC and the Academy, I am focused on our future, post COVID, and what we can do to mitigate threats to our livelihoods. I am clear-eyed about the challenges we face, but also optimistic that through crisis we will persevere, emerge stronger, accelerate change, and improve care.  

The future of eye health is now and OMIC will continue to add resources that reflect our new realties and enhance safety protocols. Regarding medical training and education, our ophthalmic community implemented new methods of instruction, rethought our approach to assessment, and identified new ways to achieve competencies that are more in line with a modernized world. The Academy just completed a highly successful virtual meeting without skipping a beat. Let’s focus on these achievements and strive to improve our systems to meet the challenges of tomorrow. 

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize Anne M Menke, RN, PhD, a key employee of OMIC for many years who will be enjoying her well-deserved retirement beginning in 2021.

 You’ve seen Anne’s name appear in almost every OMIC Digest published over the past 17 years. You’ve also perhaps spoken with her on our confidential risk management hotline or at one of the many ophthalmic society meetings where OMIC has presented valuable information to help us protect our patients. 

To say Anne has had a significant impact on our practice of ophthalmology would be an understatement. Her influence is evident in many of our most recognized resources for insureds. She perfected our “safety net” to prevent retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and her dedication to patient safety undoubtedly helped save the sight of infants and adult patients in our care. 

Steven Brown MD

I would also like to recognize the many years of service of Dr. Steven VL Brown, MD, FACS, who will complete the maximum number of years allowed for OMIC Board and Committee members. He has been an insured ophthalmologist since OMIC’s inception in 1987. We view these members as the founders of OMIC. Steve has been a board member since 2003 and past Chair of the Underwriting Committee. He recently served as the Chair of the Nominating Committee, and Vice Chairman of the Board.

Few ophthalmologists have given so much back to our profession as Dr. Brown. I speak for the entire OMIC Board in saying how much his presence will be missed at our great company.

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Six reasons OMIC is the best choice for ophthalmologists in America.

Consistent return of premium.

Publicly-traded insurance companies exist to make profits for shareholders while physician-owned carriers often return profits to their policyholders. Don’t underestimate this benefit; it can add up to tens of thousands of dollars over the course of your career. OMIC has one of the most generous dividend programs for ophthalmologists and has returned more than $90 Million to our members through dividends.