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VDCO Young - OptoMEETry 2.2

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On April 29, 2022, the second OptoMEETry of the young VDCO took place at the Berliner Hochschule für Technik (BHT). The meeting for students was planned and organized by the student representatives of VDCO Young. The efforts of Zoe Zumkeller (Aalen University of Applied Sciences), Kristine Trzeba (Ernst-Abbe University of Applied Sciences, Jena), Leonie Müller and Jessica Hein (Cologne School of Optometry), Larissa Menz (University of Applied Sciences, Brandenburg) as well as Markus Schuldt and Hendrik Schulz (BHT) paid off. OptoMEETry_2.2 went according to plan and enabled a constructive exchange between the 80 participating students from Cologne, Aalen, Berlin, Brandenburg and Jena. The VDCO Young itself was surprised by the enormous interest in participation. The registration portal had to close again after only a few days because the maximum possible number of participants had been reached. OptoMEETry is financed by the edu-Points of the VDCO. By purchasing edu-Points, everyone can support the VDCO Young in its projects. At this point, the student members of VDCO would like to thank all private sponsors 2022 as well as Alcon, bon Optic, CooperVision, Hecht Contactlinsen, Hoya, Oculus and Topcon. Stephan Hirschfeld, chairman of the VDCO, and Prof. Dr. Holger Dietze, speaker of the course for ophthalmic optics/optometry at the BHT Berlin, welcomed the participating students as well as the attending representatives of the industry Heike Hädrich (Alcon), Christoph Pohl (bon Optic), Mario Rehnert (Hecht Contactlinsen), Patrick Bartz (Hoya), Anke von Ahrentschildt and Thorsten Boss (Oculus) as well as Robert Habel and Stephan Woudboer (Topcon). After a brief introduction by the Berlin student representatives Markus and Hendrik, the students headed out for a tour of the university. In addition to the wonderful atmosphere of the historic building, the study program was able to impress the student guests and colleagues from industry with its technically impeccable equipment for optometric examinations and the production of glasses. After a short refreshment, the workshop "Strong together for the future" started at noon in the Optom Café. The students got together in ten groups and worked together on five questions about the optometrist's job description and the future they would like to see as optometrists. Through the round table, students from different universities and semesters were able to have a lively exchange and work out similarities and differences. 

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The VDCO Studi representatives from left to right: Markus Schuldt, Zoe Zumkeller, Larissa Menz, Leonie Müller, Jessica Hein, Hendrik Schulz, Kristine Trzeba

Along with VDCO, the industry also participated in a workshop to learn more about student interests and to collectively respond to questions from VDCO student representatives. The students appreciated the participation of the representatives and expressed their gratitude for the valuable information and discussions that were made possible. Our conclusion: 80 students, 5 universities, 1 common goal: shaping the future of optometry in Germany. Despite the different orientations of the university courses, it was noticeable: The young students all want the same thing! More education and more visibility of their own professional profile to the public, legal framework conditions in order to be allowed to take on more responsibility, "protection" of the use of the professional title "optometrist" as well as successful cooperation with ophthalmologists through mutual exchange. The students also provided possible solutions. The results will be presented in October at SICHT.KONTAKTE '22 in Osnabrück. The VDCO Young is planning its popular Studi-Forum there again. Be curious and take a look, no matter what professional qualification you may bring with you - our young talents will surprise you positively in every respect! The participants of OptoMEETry 2.2 spent the evening actively playing beach volleyball and table tennis in the hangar of Beach 61 from 4 p.m. onwards. The students once again took the opportunity to engage in a personal dialogue with the industry and spent a pleasant evening with barbecue and beer. For the second time, OptoMEETry proved to be unique and beneficial. Unity among all participants was generated by the words of Professor Dietze: "The optometrist is not just a job, but a profession." 

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Students from German universities with an ophthalmic optics/Optometry course in the auditorium of the Kurfürstenstraße building.