From education to advocacy to public relations to member discounts, your membership offers a wealth of services and resources:
Advocacy One of BCAO’s most vital roles is as an advocate for our members. We negotiate and advocate on behalf of our members to help define policy on professional and ethical issues. We actively lobby at both the provincial and federal level to ensure your voice is heard by the politicians, policy- and law-makers whose decisions impact your business. For example, we successfully negotiated lump-sum payments and fee increases for key services, as well as a fund that provides rebates to Doctors of Optometry for Canadian-based continuing education. We also negotiated with government to expand optometrists' scope of practice to include the authority to write prescriptions for topical therapeutic pharmaceutical agents (TPA) in the treatment and management of ocular disease.
Continuing education Each year the BCAO organizes a Continuing Education Seminar (CES). This popular three-day event offers top-quality speakers from across North America to provide optometric education for both Doctors of Optometry and their staff. OPTOFAIR, the premier ophthalmic trade show in Western Canada, is held in conjunction with CES.OVP Only member Doctors of Optometry are eligible to join the team of eye doctors who provide expert eye care to B.C. workplaces through the Occupational Vision Plan. OVP allows you to market your services, including eye examinations, professional consultations and individually tailored workplace safety programs, to a wide range of employers in industries such as forestry, construction, manufacturing and technology. In existence for more than 25 years, OVP is a respected and recognized program serving the eye safety needs of workers in B.C.
Public education BCAO reaches the public through award-winning campaigns such as a-b-See™, as well as television ads and a website that provides easy-to-navigate information on the importance of eye health and regular eye exams. We regularly engage the media with news releases and alerts, and co-ordinate media and public speaking opportunities for our members. We also help you reach out to your current and prospective patients with free professional communications materials including brochures, fact sheets, PowerPoint presentations, ad templates and more.
Business and professional tools BCAO provides the tools Doctors of Optometry need to build and support their practice, and makes them available at no charge to members. Through our membership in the national association, CAO, we are able to offer members affordable professional liability insurance and financial services. An optional comprehensive and cost-effective insurance program for group benefits, including extended health and disability, is also available to our members. We provide a Family Assistance Program that offers counselling for Doctors of Optometry and their families, and impartial mediation to resolve disputes between Doctors and their patients. You also get access to critical business tools such as the Guide to the Use of Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Agents, a handbook for new Doctors of Optometry, Rx templates, fee schedules and much more.
Member discounts As a member of BCAO, you are automatically a member of the Canadian Association of Optometrists and can access special rates and discounts on professional liability insurance, banking services, merchant credit cards, and more.
BCAO also provides newly graduated members a 50% discount on the CES registration fees in their first, full year of practice. For details on special rates available to you through your BCAO membership, please contact us.
Volunteer Opportunities As the voice of Doctors of Optometry in B.C., the BCAO speaks loudest and works best with extensive member participation. BCAO volunteers make valuable contributions in numerous ways, including advocating on behalf of Doctors, working on key awareness campaigns, participating on association committees and contributing to the community. In turn, volunteering can help members develop a network of like-minded Doctors and develop professionally. Any member of BCAO can participate, either by becoming part of a committee that interests them, or by running in an election for the Board. More detailed information can be found on the BCAO member site or by calling the BCAO office.
Contact us directly at 604-737-9907 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or apply for membership.