When I was kicked out of Pennsylvania College of Optometry—thankfully with diploma in hand—guys dominated the profession of optometry. I’m not saying that was a good thing, that’s just the way it was. The guys were a bunch of nerdy lab rats. The women were beautiful, cheery and smart. Once we got out into the profession, how could we guys compete with that?
As a group, we were outmanned (pardon the pun).
Since then, it’s been easy to see the growth and contributions of our female colleagues. Funny how we good ol’ boys actually seemed surprised as we realized the women were moving the profession’s evolution, not us.
But, ladies, please allow me to remind you (and us) that men optometrists still have much to offer our profession! Here are many examples, although I will admit there are, of course, exceptions:
• Men optometrists fix broken drawers. More accurately, we patch them together so they look OK to the patients, even though they don’t actually open and close. Who cares? All that’s in there are old, broken, hand instrument handles and 1980s-era glaucoma pamphlets.
• Men optometrists spend more time with patients. Now, we don’t spend time actually examining these patients. That’s not what I mean. But we can throw off the whole schedule just BS-ing about fishin’ or cars, and don’t get me started about how much time we spend braggin’ about our new grill. By the way, it uses natural gas and has eight burners!
• Men optometrists schmooze Moms better, and Moms determine who your patients are. Come on, you know it’s true. Men have been trained since caveman days to kiss up to Mom.
One only has to carefully examine the Petroglyphic chiseling of the Schmomagnen Era’s hairy ape-like creatures hopelessly trying to fold fur clothes to know why we try so hard to keep Momma happy. It’s in our DNA. That and prostate enlargement.
• Men optometrists still use direct ophthalmoscopes. Not all of us, but the vast majority do because we are old enough to still think OCT represents the month when we drink beer and eat Weiner schnitzel. This is a medical skill worth keeping, kinda like bloodletting for the plague.
• Men optometrists carry the paper. There are only two reasons an optometrist could possibly file a Worker’s Comp claim, and both of them involve copy paper. Hey, paper is actually wood, so a ream of paper equals about five logs and, besides, paper cuts can be dangerous (ref. “bloodletting” in previous paragraph for more information).
• Men optometrists can pretend everything at the office is peachy keen. We are awesome at ignoring the staffers who come to work late, the deliveries that get lost, the phones that don’t work, and the bills that don’t get paid. You want to get things done at the office? Have a woman optometrist. You want to chat about cigars? Men. You want to improve efficiencies? Women. You want to gripe about Obamacare? Men. You know who you are!
Me? It should be obvious to you that I hold women optometrists in high regard and I give the men a hard time. On the other hand, with a few exceptions, I would rather hunt woolly mammoths with the guys. Woolly mammoth burgers are great for grillin’!