As Im writing this, Im slugging down my third cup of coffee and sitting here all bleary eyed after staying up way too late to watch the presidential election finale.

Every election is important, but this one seemed like the most important one since I began voting, and its probably the one Ive followed most intensely. Theres the obvious historical significance. Also, perhaps Ive become like my dad, a political junkie.

More importantly, its because of the significant changes that have taken place nationallyand in my own familysince the last presidential election. Since 2004, my wife and I became first-time parents. My wife is at home with our son, so our income changed. And, our parents health has declined as theyve gotten older.

The numbers we all hear about every daythe Dow, unemployment statistics, home foreclosures and the millions of Americans without health insurancebecome even more worrisome when I consider my own familys well being. For example, if I lost my job during the looming recession, would we lose our home? And, if we lost our health insurance, would our son receive adequate health care, and could my wife and I afford any medications we need? How do we continue to pay our bills and have enough left over to save for college and retirement? How do my elderly parents recover the retirement savings lost during the stock markets roller coaster ride?

No doubt, many of you share similar concerns. But there are also larger issues that affect optometrys future.

In this months special report, we offer results of the general elections that took place on our Web site between May and October. Learn how your colleagues feel about such issues as board certification, CE requirements, tuition costs for optometry school, O.D. oversupply, national licensure and scope of practice.

But, dont just think of the percentages you read here. Think about the new O.D. who would like to buy into a practice but struggles to pay off massive student debt and support a young family. Think about whether someones parent with cataract or diabetic retinopathy will have access to eye care. Think about how difficult it might be to obtain a license in another state if your spouses job requires you to relocate.

These issues take on a whole new meaning. And, they merit serious discussion for some time to come.

Now, while you read and consider these numbers, Ill go get another cup of coffee.


Jeffrey S. Eisenberg

Managing Editor

Vol. No: 145:11Issue: 11/15/2008