Alan Burrow, who has been practising for more than 40 years, 20 of those in Coffs Harbour, was among the first group of NSW optometrists to be approved to prescribe eye medications for conditions such as eye infections, conjunctivitis and glaucoma.
Just 22 optometrists received their Graduate Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics last week, under new legislation that qualifies them to prescribe topical ocular medications under a co-management arrangement with ophthalmologists.
Mr Burrow said he's learnt to keep his feet firmly planted on the ground.
“You throw your hat in the air the first time, but after that you realise that you're just an ordinary person and you're no different than the day before,” he said. “The important thing is that the legislation for this has passed.
“For a long time we were dealing with eye disease every day, but we couldn't treat it and that's now changed.
“It's a big bonus for patients because now we can treat things we would usually have to send away for, internally.”
He also paid tribute to local ophthalmologists who had provided him with significant assistance during the course.