Several weeks ago, I received notification from the state that my dispensing license was up for renewal. I put the renewal on my desk thinking to myself that I’ll take care of it when I have the time. After all, it wasn’t due until March 2018. However, it was bothering me that it was the only thing on my desk that I had to do, so why not do it now and get it out of the way. I opened the envelope and the letter instructed me to go to the state renewal website for Eye Care Professionals, input an authorization code in the letter and my license number. I then had to answer the obligatory questions including the question stating that I have taken and received 18 continuing education credits for the registration period. Before answering yes or no to the question, this ominous statement regarding continuing education appeared: Continuing Education: Every ophthalmic dispenser registered to practice in New York State must complete approved continuing education. Ophthalmic dispensers are required to complete eighteen (18) hours of continuing education during each three-year registration period with no more than 3 hours of study related to the dispensing and fitting of contact lenses and no more than 3 hours in self-study courses. Ophthalmic dispensers certified as contact lens practitioners must take 20 hours of continuing education in each three-year registration period, with at least 10 hours of study related to dispensing and fitting contact lenses and no more than 3 hours in self- study courses. The required number of hours is calculated at the rate of 0.5 hours per month for ophthalmic dispensers and 0.56 hours per month for ophthalmic dispensers certified as contact lens practitioners, regardless of the number of months in a registration period. Course work must be taken from organizations approved by the Department as sponsors. Ophthalmic dispensers are exempt from the requirement for the first 3 years following initial licensure. Each licensee must maintain documentation of completion of required course work for a period of six years and be subject to audit by the New York State Education Department. Do not send any continuing education documents with this application. Will you have completed the required continuing education in accordance with the instructions above prior to the beginning of the new registration period? If not, you are advised that failure to complete the required continuing education prior to the beginning of the new registration period listed above may subject you to prosecution for professional misconduct. As I happily answered yes to the question, I thought to myself that it’s great to be a member of OANY. For one, I don’t have to stress about getting continuing education credits. I go to 10 OANY meetings a year and get at least 10 credits (sometimes more) in both Ophthalmic dispensing and Contact lenses. The next year, after the first 6 meetings, I have all my continuing education credits. I also love the camaraderie and networking at each meeting. I’ll often meet people in the industry I haven’t seen for years. I also like the fact that the organization that I’m a member of also contributes to charities, to scholarship funds and those in need. To me, the value of being an OANY member is stress-free credits, camaraderie and networking and helping those in need. If you are an OANY member and haven’t been to a meeting in a long time, we’d love to you see again. If you not an OANY member, I urge you to come to the Milleridge Inn on the 3rd Thursday of the month, join our meeting and become a member. If you’re like me, you’ll be glad you did. The Value of Being an OANY Member By Mark Cohen, Editor