Article Date: 9/1/2006

new O.D.
from the
Howard B. Purcell, O.D., F.A.A.O. Senior Director, The Vision Care Institute

Dear colleague,

Over the past 6 months, I've had the opportunity to visit nearly half of the schools and colleges of optometry in North America. Although I've always had a great deal of respect for the administrators and faculty of our academic institutions, meeting them personally has been truly inspiring.

These are the individuals who have chosen to step up and lead, taking on the responsibility to nurture and develop new O.D.s, preparing them to serve the needs of the public in an ethical and compassionate manner. Never before has the burden been so great, the responsibility so demanding. Our faculty and administrators have not only accepted the challenge, but they've embraced their roles with a tenacity and vigilance that will take our profession to places we may only have imagined.

When was the last time you visited your alma mater? When was the last time you called or sent an e-mail to that faculty member who made a difference to you? Have you ever considered asking your favorite teacher to consult on a difficult case? I encourage you to take the time to go back. You may not recognize the old place. The physical growth and development of these institutions have been incredible.

As I've walked the campuses in Birmingham, Boston, Columbus, Philadelphia, Puerto Rico and Tulsa, I've been inspired by the administrators' unrelenting efforts to create the most state-of-the-art facilities in health care. How proud they are, as they should be, to show off the incredible growth their institutions are experiencing. Each and every school and college is either planning for or in the process of upgrading, or has recently completed major renovations.

We truly are fortunate to have benefited from the expertise and commitment of these teachers and administrators. So, next time you have the chance to stop in and see for yourself, do it. I'm confident you'll leave feeling better than when you arrived, proud of what has been accomplished and proud that there are people like Dr. Amos, Dr. Barr, Dr. Bartlett, Dr. Carr, Dr. Foster, Dr. Heath, Dr. Lewis, Dr. Pagan, Dr. Santiago, Dr. Shipp, Dr. Zadnick and many others.

On behalf of all of us ... THANK YOU!

Let me know what you think!

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Optometric Management, Issue: September 2006