Our visionhelp colleagues, Drs. Stan and Bryce Appelbaum, shared a beautiful note they received from one of the undergraduate students who worked as a vision therapy assistant in their practice. It reads as follows:
“Thank you so much for the opportunity to be a part of your practice and to interact with your patients. The past 1 1/2 years I have worked here have been extremely rewarding, educational, and fulfilling. I have learned so much about patient care, I have learned so much about myself, and I have learned about the type of health care provider I hope one day to be. I respect you and all that your practice does for its patients so much and I am truly thankful for all of the experiences I have gained here. My job here has confirmed for me my life long desire to work with patients, and I am certain that I will always carry the unmatched excellence of patient care I have observed here with me throughout my career.”
Meghan’s note came to mind as I finished a Skype interview today with a third year student at Bucknell University who majors in Biomedical Engineering. Becoming a competent biomedical engineer requires an extensive amount of technical knowledge in addition to having a strong knowledge of the physiological and biological sciences.
Daniel is a bright and impressive young man, not just because he shares my son’s first name. He had contacted me recently at the urging of a family friend, Pamela Kohn, a former vision therapy patient in our practice who has become active on the Sovoto website sharing her experiences and insights. Daniel thought he might like to go to medical school, but after learning of Pam’s experiences is now seriously weighing Optometry as a career.
We had a great video chat, and Daniel will join us next month to spend the summer. Like Meghan, Daniel will function as a vision therapy assistant. It would not surprise me if he elects to go into Optometry as a career, as our profession, particularly in vision therapy practice, provides considerable flexibility. Add to technical knowledge a grounding in physiological and biological knowledge, and sprinkle in a healthy dose of empathy and compassion for patients, and it’s no wonder that we continue to attract interest from among the best and brightest of undergraduate students. Factor in the fact that specialists in VT and Rehab advocate strongly for their patients, yet aren’t at the mercy of the whims and dictates of third party care, and we become more attractive than ever.
– Leonard J. Press, O.D., FCOVD, FAAO