ASCO awarded six schools and colleges of optometry with Practice Management Education (PME) Awards in 2013 in its inaugural year. A PME Award provides seed funding of up to $2,000 for developing and implementing activities or programs that are designed to supplement the practice management educational experience for optometry students. The activity/program’s framework should strengthen the institution’s commitment to practice management, enhance student education and promote the success of the student as a future practitioner, and be transferable/of benefit to other institutions. Awards can be used to fund seminars, outside speakers, and mentoring/guidance programs for graduating optometry students. The grant program is funded directly by ASCO, and members of the ASCO Academic Affairs Committee serve as application evaluators.
This year’s recipients of PME Awards are:
*Illinois College of Optometry (for outside speakers to teach billing/coding and legal aspects of optometry)
*MCPHS University School of Optometry (to cover honoraria for outside speakers for two courses in practice and business management)
*Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University (for a program designed to give future doctors of optometry an opportunity to experience the loan process, the purchase of a business, and contract negotiations, and to be on both sides of the interview process)
*Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University (for honoraria and travel expenses for experts who will participate in a course presenting policies and procedures involving billing and coding, and implementation of The Affordable Care Act)
*Southern College of Optometry (for the Focus on the Future program at the Hayes Center for Practice Excellence featuring a panel presentation to raise awareness about the variety of career options in optometry — such as solo or group practice owner, retail model, institutional or military practice, etc.)
*University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry (for a day-long lecture designed to increase the number of graduates who start a private practice, including segments on retiring student debt and advanced billing and coding)
PME Award application requirements can be found at https://optometriceducation.org/for-member-institutions-faculty/faculty-development-and-data/practice-management-education-award/; questions can be directed to Carol Brubaker, ASCO’s Manager of Professional Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.