It has been a great week down here in Jacksonville Florida for the COVD (College of Optometrists in Vision Development) annual meeting. To add to the excitement, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve now been minted with 5 new letters at the end of my name – FCOVD (Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development). This has been a process nearly 3 years in the making and is something I am extremely proud of and happy to have achieved. Congratulations from family and friends have flooded in – but the most common response has been some variation of “well, I’m not quite sure what that is, but congrats!”
FCOVD: Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development
In nearly any profession there exists a number of differing designations that result in an interesting accumulation of letters at the end of a person’s name. The assumption is that the person must have done something to “earn” these letters – but for those outside of their profession it can really seem like a mystery. Enter developmental optometry’s version of this designation – the FCOVD. There are others as well, but I’ll focus on just this one for today.
A fellowship with the College of Optometrists in Vision Development acts as a means by which to ensure advanced competency and knowledge in all areas of Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation. It’s a post-graduate designation and requires several steps by which a candidate must prove their competency in this field. This process is not taken lightly and – including proof of direct clinical diagnosis and management of cases – requires nearly 1200 hours of experience and education to complete. From continuing education, to case reports, open book questions, a multiple choice examination and an in-person oral defense – there are many checks and balances before someone earns the ability to classify themselves as being board certified in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation.
As exciting as it is to triple the letter score at the end of my name, it’s important to note that there are many competent providers of Vision Therapy without this designation. It is not at all a pre-requisite for providing care, and it would do a disservice to our profession to imply otherwise. That being said, it was something that was important for me to obtain. Not only have I learned an immense amount about myself as a clinician, but I have also been opened to a vast network of incredible mentors from whom I will continue to learn throughout my career.
For those interested in learning more about this process, there is a great outline provided here.
Thanks for reading – now, back to the celebration here in sunny Florida…
Until next month,
Paul Rollett, OD, FCOVD (Feels good to finally type that 🙂 )