In any medical field those who practice need to keep up to date on changes in order to maintain their licensing.
For the most part that means continuing education programs on a regular basis.
Those continuing education programs are on top of the already mandated college degree from an accredited educational institution, required passing of board examinations and demonstration of the skills and know how to be deemed license worthy.
For Dr. Scott Hagen, O.D., who has been in his line of the medical field since 1985, that constant education is something he enjoys.
After all, helping people improve their vision is his passion.
Hagen, who is an optometrist for ACMC in Redwood Falls, recently took his own education to the next level when he completed the certification and passed the rigorous examination required to become a board certified diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.
Board certification is a process that allows doctors of optometry to demonstrate they exceed entry level requirements and are maintaining the appropriate knowledge, skills and experience needed to deliver quality eye care.
The certification was created in 2009, and Hagen has become one of the first to receive the certification, as about 5 percent of those who are practicing optometrists in Minnesota have met the requirements for the board certification.
The process of becoming certified took Hagen about one year, and he said the certification is good for 10 years.
Hagen said he did not go through the process just to hang another piece of paper on the wall, but said he believes this is one more way in which he can best serve his patients.
“For me it is about the best interest of the patient,” said Hagen. “I believe it is my obligation to be as knowledgeable as I can be, to provide the best, most up-to-date care that I can.”
Hagen said he has seen a lot of changes over the years he has been an optometrist, adding while there have been many changes the bottom line for him is the one thing that has never changed – finding ways to help his patients maintain healthy eyes.
Technology, he said, has certainly helped to provide more data in a quicker form, and Hagen said he really appreciates the investment ACMC has made in ensuring he has the latest equipment at his fingertips to help with patient care.
He also said the staff he is able to work with through ACMC really makes his job a lot easier.
The amount of information that can be gathered and analyzed compared to what was available when he started is unbelievable, he said.
Hagen said he opted for optometry, because it is a field that has always interested him.
Page 2 of 2 - As the son of an eye doctor, Hagen said he often found himself reading the magazines his dad would have at home on the science of vision.
“Through my dad I was able to gain great exposure to optometry,” said Hagen.
Vision science, said Hagen, is a combination of many things from optics and physiology to psychology to neurology.
Ensuring everything works together as well as it can is what being an optometrist is all about.
That is what Dr. Scott Hagen is all about.