Have you ever watched the nightly news and just hit the mute button and wished the world was a perfect place? I do it all the time, especially when they interrupt sports to tell me what Machine Gun Kelly or Prince Harry said to Piers Morgan about the Kardashians. Too bad the world’s not a perfect place. Neither is the optometry world at that. But what if it was? Here’s what I imagine it would look like:
- Bacterial conjunctivitis would be caused by no-showing.
- The curse of emmetropia would be lifted in favor of universal myopia.
- Computer screens would only be visible if the eye doctor gave a refill code each year.
- Retinal tears would only be allowed on Monday mornings.
- Yearly glasses plus sunglasses would be required by federal statute.
- The United States Senate would be crawling with optometrists, not lawyers who aren’t good enough at law to stick with it.
- Every state board of optometry would send a representative to a big national meeting where they have to choose between expanding the scope of every state’s optometry law or facing a ticked off Mike Tyson in a 10x10 cage match. In case somebody were to make the wrong choice, I’ll have you know my son is an oral surgeon. Just give me a call, or, better yet, send a text since you probably can’t talk after Iron Mike knocked your jaw into the blue bayou.
- When you have survived 40 years of private practice, your license would automatically renew at no charge because, let’s face it, at that point you aren’t going to use any new technologies anyway, and you don’t want to waste what little life you have left in a CE hall in some nondescript hotel somewhere listening to some young pup who’s really smart but hasn’t ever actually examined a patient since they got their degree.
- Snellen would have stopped at 20/30.
- Pharmaceutical companies would stop making antihistamine eye drops.
- Multifocal contact lenses would beep when they are inside out.
- A doctor would need to at least be in the same building as the patient for the patient to call it an eye examination. If that doesn’t work, how about the doctor needs to be in the same state at the very least.
- Contact lenses would require a written prescription, not a picture of a patient’s cousin’s old lenses to buy new ones.
- If a patient has problems with the new prescription they got from somewhere other than your office, they would realize that they deserve the best technology for their eyesight and that you can provide it.
- Your children and grandchildren would not have friends who have a swollen eyelid on a Sunday.
- We would call ourselves “doctor” without having to clarify what kind of doctor every time. Even Jill Biden is called “doctor” for goodness’ sake! Doctor of what? Joe?
- Parents would know that their kid’s school screening is not the same as an eye exam. I mean, don’t they understand how critically important good eyesight is for watching four hours of stuff on TikTok every day?
- Not an optometry thing, but cellphones would smell like a skunk if you text while driving.
Unfortunately, the optometry world is not a perfect place. If it was, then some rich private equity company hotshots would buy my DNA for their secret awesome optometrist cloning experiments. And I don't see that happening.
Dr. Vickers received his optometry degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1979 and was clinical director at Vision Associates in St. Albans, WV, for 36 years. He is now in private practice in Dallas, where he continues to practice full-scope optometry. He has no financial interests to disclose.