June 15, 2022
By Andrew Brauer, OD
The great thing about the MyPath resources is that there’s something in it for everyone. I personally feel pretty comfortable with the medical aspects of myopia, so I’ve found myself drawn to some of the other resources in the program.
I’ve been in practice for a decade, and over the last eight years, myopia has been the area that most interests me and where I devote most of my energy. I’ve been using VTI’s NaturalVue Multifocal on my myopic patients for the last six years, and the success I’ve seen has made this a fantastic tool for use with my young patients.
As an eye care practitioner, I’m always trying to stay on top of the latest education, resources, and research in the field — especially as it pertains to myopia management. In early 2022, I first saw VTI’s web resources for the MyPath Education Initiative (MyPath), and I was struck by the feeling that this was not a token gesture meant to simply fill pages on a website. There was a lot of information there, and it took me quite a while to get through it all. This was my first hint that VTI was beginning to put a renewed focus on myopia education. A few months later, I was formally introduced to MyPath, which compiles helpful information into an easy-to-digest presentation format. As a complement, VTI’s website also features the information in an organized resource library.
All the Tools for Myopia Management
VTI’s MyPath is focused on three main components: Educating ECPs, Educating staff, and Educating patients and parents. The tools for each section are broken down into three major categories: Preparing the Practice, Executing the Consultation, and Practice Management. From there, the areas of education are broken down even further.
In Preparing the Practice, ECPs can learn about the Practice Mindset, Practice Education, and how to Plan the Consultation. In Executing the Consultation, there are resources on Patient Selection and Risk Assessment, how to Prescribe the Appropriate Intervention, and the Education of Parent and Patient. Lastly, in the Practice Management section, there are tools for Identification of Treatment Utilized, Customizing Visit and Fee Structure, and Equipment/Support Needed to Measure Patient Success. While this is a thorough breakdown of each of the most important areas of myopia, each individual unit has several resources from leaders in the field, including Thomas Aller, OD, FBCLA, Jeffrey J. Walline, OD, PhD, Gary Gerber, OD, and more. Additionally, there are resources from the World Council of Optometry, the American Optometric Association, and the World Health Organization.
After registering for MyPath, ECPs go through a learning curriculum and can also choose a learning curriculum for their staff members. Upon completion of the course, the practice receives materials that you can use to help guide your interactions with myopic patients and their parents.
Making the Most of MyPath
The MyPath program allows you to skip around to the topics of most interest, but the first time through, I followed the presentation in order from start to finish. There’s a logical progression, and I intend to incorporate this into my staff training. Sometimes when I’m trying to explain something to my technicians, I’ll see their eyes glaze over and realize that I’m talking over their heads. I see MyPath being very useful in keeping these discussions on track. After finishing MyPath for the first time, I have gone back from time to time to review individual parts. I’ve found it to be well organized and easy to reference when I need a little refresher.
The great thing about the MyPath resources is that there’s something in it for everyone. I personally feel pretty comfortable with the medical aspects of myopia, so I’ve found myself drawn to some of the other resources in the program. MyPath has valuable information on practice management, fee-setting philosophy, and giving an effective pitch to patients and parents. I think these are areas that any doctor can improve and that are widely underappreciated.
For those just dipping their toes into myopia, it’s helpful that the MyPath presentation isn’t a NaturalVue commercial. MyPath discusses all myopia treatment modalities and compares and contrasts them. While some sections are specific to the NaturalVue Multifocal such as clinical data on the lens, the majority of the MyPath program would be beneficial even to a doctor who doesn’t use VTI products at all.
The Benefits of MyPath Accreditation
MyPath has a few main benefits. Useful clinical knowledge is the most obvious one. For an optometric physician just beginning their myopia journey, it’s a fantastic jumpstart. For those who feel comfortable with their technical knowledge and skills, it’s an excellent refresher that keeps the big picture top-of-mind. It also has resources to help doctors become better communicators and to approach the business aspects of myopia sensibly and effectively.
Getting MyPath accredited is another huge benefit. Not only can you further your expertise in myopia, but you’ll also gain practical resources that can be of service to you and your patients on a daily basis. Two great examples of this are VTI’s myopia posters and myopia-oriented intake forms. The posters have informative but easy-to-understand graphics that help facilitate the myopia management discussion, and the intake forms prime parents to be thinking about myopia before the exam even starts. MyPath accreditation has something for everyone, regardless of where they are on their myopia journey. And of course, getting accredited is an outward mark of competency and of a doctor’s willingness to invest the time and energy to be a leader in myopia.
As long as there are skeptical parents who ask, “Why haven’t I heard of this before?” there will be a place for accreditations such as MyPath to provide credibility and help build parent trust. In the end, that benefits everyone.
Disclaimer: Dr. Brauer was compensated for his time in preparing this article
|Andrew Brauer is an optometrist practicing in Elgin, Illinois. Since 2015, he’s served as an associate at Elgin Family Eye Care, a three-doctor primary eye care private practice. Dr. Brauer’s clinical areas of focus are myopia control, contact lenses, and orthokeratology, and of course, growing this patient base within his practice. He’s a proud member of the American Optometric Association and the American Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control. Dr. Brauer earned degrees from the University of Illinois and Southern College of Optometry.|