For the past 5 years, there have been fully accredited private practice optometric residencies in vision therapy throughout the country. The brain child of W.C. Maples, OD, FCOVD, they were first instituted through the Southern College of Optometry along with a dedicated and growing group of private practice vision therapy optometrists. These optometrists were willing to serve as program supervisors for newly graduated doctors of optometry who wished to pursue advanced training in this critically important optometric specialty. As one of the first optometrists to supervise a private practice VT residency, I have been fortunate enough to have been able to see the growth of the residents once they graduate from our program. For the past two years my wife Sandi and I, have hosted a residency reunion day at our shore home in Ventnor, New Jersey. This past weekend was our reunion party, and it was great catching up with our past residents and hearing about their early successes as they shared their stories with our current and future residents. This is becoming a tradition which we hope to continue for many years to come. We are so proud of all of them!
(From left to right: Reagan Darner, OD 2013,MikiLynn D’Angelo, OD 2014,Ivan Lee, OD, Barry Tannen, OD, FCOVD, Noah Tannen SUNY Optometry Class of 2016, Nick Despotidis, OD, FCOVD, Amy Desmond, OD 2011, Dana Webster, OD 2012)
Dr. Desmond has added vision therapy to the primary care practice of Dombrowski Eye Associates in Lancaster, PA and Dr. Webster has greatly expanded the vision therapy program of Dr. Elliott Klonsky and Associates in Crofton, MD. Dr. Darner will be moving to Roanoke, VA where we know she will be doing great things in the future, and we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Dr. D’Angelo next week!
We owe a great deal of gratitude to Dr. Maples for his vision, and to The Southern College of Optometry for their willingness to be innovators and pioneers of this program. We expect that thousands of children and adults will be spared the suffering of undiagnosed and untreated vision problems as these fine young doctors enter our profession.