This magazine is fortunate to have long-standing ties with ODs who’ve been prominent in the field for decades and have, along the way, become fixtures of our monthly editorial slate. Joe Shovlin, Paul Ajamian and Monty Vickers have each been Review of Optometry columnists for over 30 years. More than a dozen of our editorial board members also have been active in the field at least as long, and a few have an even more distinguished tenure—Jerry Sherman and Sherry Bass, the venerable SUNY professors who write our popular new malpractice column You Be The Judge, have a combined 94 years of experience. Yes, you read that right.
These thought leaders and countless others of their generations have been a consistent engine of progress for optometry, innovators who retooled a glasses-and-contacts profession into the premier venue for primary eye care in America.
The wide array of ODs who write and review articles for Review make themselves available to our staff day and night. Many times I’ve reached out at odd hours, with odd requests, and found willing volunteers happy to assist. But lately in my interactions with authors, I’ve noticed something that doesn’t come up much in conversations with the senior optometrists in our stable.
Babies. Lots of them.
This month alone, we have contributions from five ODs who’ve welcomed new babies into their families: Erin Tomiyama, Stephanie Ramdass, Trevor Fosso, Alison Bozung and Suzanne Sherman. Two other recent authors who managed to fit in contributions for Review around diaper changes and feeding schedules are Lindsay Sicks and Christina Cherny. These busy doctors were all kind enough to give us—and, by extension, you—some of their precious new-parent time, and I thank them all.
This tracks with a decision we made a few years back to make sure the next generation of experts also finds a home for their views in Review of Optometry. In the past five years, the average age of our authors has dropped significantly. These days most people you’ll see on the bylines haven’t even developed presbyopia yet. With no disrespect aimed at our indispensable senior contributors, I find it exciting that this magazine is experiencing an injection of new blood.
Those optometrists who entered the profession after about 2010 have notably different ambitions, attitudes and personalities than previous generations of ODs. “Medical optometry” is not aspirational to them—it’s the table stakes. Performing minor surgical procedures isn’t some radical notion but rather the next logical step for them. And relations with MDs are far more collaborative and cooperative for this new breed of OD. Many work side by side with ophthalmologists, and a handful even teach in their educational institutions!
We’re also at the time of year when many optometry schools do their white coat ceremonies to welcome students into the clinical portion of their training. The social media feeds we interact with these days are filled with fresh-faced optometrists-to-be in their new lab coats.
For students anticipating the road ahead, young ODs finding their way and veterans looking to stay sharp, this publication has guidance to offer. We pride ourselves on Review being the nexus of all these varied experiences of optometry.
And to those new parents: Congrats! Get some rest.