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A Mid-Year Vendor Forum

Posted By Stuart Alfred, CRA, OCT-C, Friday, April 29, 2016
Updated: Friday, April 22, 2016

Of my many identities:  partner, dad, photographer, healthcare provider…there is one identity:  consumer, that is among my lesser favorites.  It implies somehow giving up on a duty or chore.  Except as an OPS ‘consumer’. The modicum of money I spent is much more an investment than an expense.       

The Mid-Year meeting for example, what value and purchasing power. In my experience Mid-Year meetings have tended toward easily accessible.  Yet!  fewer days on my calendar expended. The somewhat longer annual programs can be …turbulent.. in comparison.  The Mid-Year offers a stellar line of global speakers, on facets wide ranging, in one room.  Someway I find the condensed nature provides a more relaxed environment.       

Some brilliant OPS volunteer or board recently came up with the idea to create a vendor forum– allowing me unconstrained access to vendor reps, instruments, all while providing CECs for the face time!  If you aren’t familiar with this new vendor forum, not familiar with these industry leading reps., shake hands with some fountains of support!      

At the Mid-Year meetings you need to be prepared...  These vendor colleagues are leaders in the industry competition, or Clinical Application Specialists, they know clinically how we implement our devices.  Therefore they share techniques with us we may not be aware of.  How can this service exist in our otherwise fettered consumer interactions:  because the majority of them has years of service in clinic roles precisely like ours, and serve as vibrant OPS members.      

My Institute administration will thankfully ask me to weigh in on new instruments and modalities; now back to being a ‘big’ consumer.  Vender Form is the place to bring that exact administration inquiry from your practice. Get business cards and pass requests for demos. You are now in the driving seat for major financial investment at the backing of your physicians.  You consume, but, in fact support your reps careers and that vital industry.      

It can be said I’m a consumer of these vendors and their talented and generous personnel.  Name another ‘product’ where year after year the ‘seller’ supports your learning at an OPS level?  ZEISS Meditec and Greg, Gary and Kevin Langton. Then Dale Brodsky at Fundus Photo, LLC, S4OPTIK, Heidelberg Engineering, Optos, Topcon, Optovue, Regeneron, Sonomed Escalon Nidek ​and the list goes on.    

In Ann Arbor 2015 –and as planned in Ft. Worth 2016 - the Vendor Forum provides a small group of 5 random attendees a rotation through all the visiting vendors one table at a time: Heidelberg Engineering , Zeiss… are all currently slotted to bring their newest technologies and teams.   We in effect purchase these structured and accredited times to pick their brains while they pick ours.    

These orchestrated meeting are just the first royalty check.  During the meeting’s breaks, all of lunch, after hours at the watering hole, these rock star representatives become friends.      

Our profession and society are unique in many ways.  The reps and CASs we enjoy allow us ongoing support, encouragement and training with not much effort from ourselves.  Why is that?     

To describe vendors as valuable assets in an understatement.  Like we innovate in our clinics, they innovate at their HQ, much of it based on our feedback to them.  A vital, valued and –obviously- symbiotic relationship.

Tags:  2016  blog  education  Educational Meeting  Fort Worth  Interactive  Meaningful Use  Mid-year  PDC  Special Events  Texas  Travel 

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