Article Date: 4/1/2003

o.d. to o.d.
Time to Say Farewell
A change in my priorities caused me to step down from my editorial position at Optometric Management.
BY NEIL B. GAILMARD, O.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.O., Chief Optometric Editor

I accepted the position of chief optometric editor of this journal in December 2000. It's hard to believe it's been more than two years. I have truly enjoyed the work and the people I have worked with at Boucher Communications, Inc. (BCI, the publisher of Optometric Management), but I decided that it's time for me to move on to other things.

Career shifts

The main thing I'm moving on to, ironically, is returning to clinical practice. I had pulled away from patient care even before this editorial job, to pursue my MBA degree, and to concentrate purely on the administration of my practice, travel, lecture, write, teach and consult.

The practice did fine during this time because my wife, Susan, is a wonderful optometrist and partner, and we also had the good fortune of employing three excellent clinical optometrists. Even though I tried to make the administration of the practice my first priority, my other career pursuits took a tremendous amount of time. The behind-the-scenes work in putting out a journal such as this is a major undertaking, and my work was minor compared to that of the full-time editorial and publishing staff.

As I grew further away from practicing optometry, I began to miss the patient contact and the rewards of helping people who have vision problems. I also began to realize that I could not be an effective practice leader and manager without being in the trenches. I wanted to get back to being a practicing O.D.

I'll be around

This farewell column need not become overly sentimental. While I won't be chief optometric editor anymore, I'll still be active in the profession. I'll still be writing the Management Tip of the Week e-newsletter, which enjoys a large readership and is currently in week 65. I'm proud of that publication and I appreciate the large number of positive e-mails I receive weekly from readers. If you don't currently receive the MTOTW, you can sign up for a free e-mail subscription at and you can view previous tips in the archives.

I'll also continue to serve on the editorial board of Optometric Management, authoring some feature articles from time to time, and I'll still be presenting practice management lectures at conferences. Being active in clinical practice will keep me up to date with fresh material.


I want to thank everyone I have worked with at BCI for making my job so enjoyable, from Larisa Hubbs and Stephanie Kraus in the early days, to Jim Thomas, Karen Rodemich, Ginny Pickles, René Luthe, Doug Parry, Roger Zimmer, Pat Herron, Bob Boucher and many others. I learned a lot from all of you. BCI is a company with great integrity and the people who work there are like family. It is a privilege to be associated with such an outstanding organization.

The new editor

I'm happy and confident to leave Optometric Management in extremely capable hands -- my successor is none other than Walter West, O.D., of Brentwood, Tenn. Walt is well known in our profession as a writer, lecturer and a successful practitioner. He's a personal friend of mine and we've been in an optometric study group together for 15 years, so I know his clinical and management abilities well. This journal is in good hands, indeed.


Optometric Management, Issue: April 2003