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Eye Opener Sessions

This week, i received my first two matches with pre-optometry students through ASCO's new Eye Opener Session program. I am really excited that I am going to be able to have one-on-one video calls with potential optometrists on Friday! Year after year when optometry students are surveyed about "why?" they chose to pursue optometry, they tell us that they were inspired by an optometrist! So, I love that this new marketing effort from ASCO is focusing on this valuable connection. But, what is an old guy like me going to tell these undergraduate students as they are considering a career in optometry? After all, I'm a semi-retired guy...what can I tell them?


Well, I'll start out by telling them that optometry allowed me the opportunity to retire before I hit the age of 60. I share with them that optometry has provided my family with opportunities beyond our imagination. Optometry has given my family the resources to travel the world, meet interesting people and give back to humanity. One of the things that I'll certainly share with these undergraduate students are my many experiences as an optometrist on a international mission trips. Over 10 times, I have traveled to central America, the Caribbean, and south America to provide eye care to patients in-need. I will certainly share the story of the 90 year old man in Honduras who tried to give me his family's bible because he was so thankful for the glasses that I was able to fit him with. I'll also tell the story of us fitting all of the firefighters in Guatemala City with glasses to help them see better while responding to emergencies.


When I would talk with applicants in the past, I would often joke that if someone looked at my resume they would think that I can keep a job. But, what it really means is that optometry gave me the opportunities to do different things at different times in my life. If I make a list of the past 30 years, it goes like this:

  1. Associate Optometrist,

  2. Solo Private Practice Optometrist,

  3. Optometric Educator,

  4. Assistant Dean for Student Affairs & Admissions,

  5. Dean,

  6. Optometric Education Consultant.


I have enjoyed all six of these iterations of my career! They each provided me with something slightly different at the right time of my life. How can I not be thankful for such a profession? How can I not tell undergraduate students that optometry is awesome? I can't wait until Friday!



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