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fortunate part of it all, is that this is a period of life when the person has the experience, knowledge and desire to enjoy life to the utmost, and offer more to humanity.
Perhaps one of the most tragic aspects of old age is feeling dependent, lacking a sense of self-sufficiency, feeling as though not wanted. Much of this lack of confidence is the psychological results of physical handicaps, often those in the vision category.
Through research and development, optometry has surged forward to find new ways and means to keep the visual facilities comfortably active longer. Optometrists discovered long ago that they must prescribe not only for the task but also for the mode of life. This is being done more and more in order to aid the senior citizen. Bifocals, multifocals, coated lenses, light and environment studies, hardened lenses, microscopic lenses and contact lenses, among other optical aids, are serving to prolong the "seeing" life of the aging person.
There is much more to be learned .... much more that the senior citizen of tomorrow can look forward to and see than those of today. But the effort is a worthy and compensating one, because in the senior citizen, you have humanity at its highest level of mature judgement.
In "Federal Responsibilities in the field of Aging", President Dwight D. Eisenhower said:
"In considering the changed circumstances presented by lengthening the life span, we must recognize older persons as individuals
not a class and their wide differences in needs, desires, and capacities. The great majority of older persons are capable of continuing their self-sufficiency and usefulness
to the community if given the opportunity. Our task is to help in assuring that these opportunities are pro
vided." Vision is the precious sense that stimulates opportunities, and fulfills them after they have been established. We are looking forward to even a better life for the senior citizen through improved vision.
YOUR OPPORTUNITY AS A LADY O.D."
It was hard to believe it seemed impossible that such a complete change could be accomplished with such dramatic suddenness. But it happened just that way, before your eyes and his.
As a woman optometrist—a "Lady 0.D."—it is only natural that many of your patients are youngsters, with seeing problems much the same as those of adults, except that they take a little more understanding, patience, and a softer approach.
This young man of 9 was brought to you by his parents because of some troubles he'd been having. His high intelligence and his mediocre grades in school didn't match up. He was backward in sports, although he tried hard. He was shy and had few playmates. He frequently bruised himself by running into things—accidents which always seemed to occur in strange, poorly lighted places.
The school nurse suggested that his parents bring him to you. Upon examination, you found his problem was not seeing properly, a serious problem if left alone, but one easily corrected with professional care.
You recommended. The parents consented. The wheels turned. A few days later you put a couple of small pieces of optical glass before his eyes, and the transformation took place. His eyes lighted up behind those bits of glass like the bright and shiny Christmas tree that he would see clearly this year for the first time.
All this, because you are a woman optometrist who works with sight, the most precious of all senses. You are trained to practice the scientific miracle of helping people see the things that are around them. This is your chosen profession. It has been rewarding-has given you the satisfaction of serving fellow men.
Before you became a Lady 0.D. and hung up your license, you had many decisions to make. You wanted a career where a woman's opportunity would be on par with a man's; you found this in optometry. If you were to enter a profession, you wanted one in which its members and the public accepted the woman: you found optometrists actually were inviting more women to join their profession. You wanted a profession where many women are already making their way, one affording specialties or areas of work particularly opportune to a woman and in which she can be as equally adept as men. In optometry you found that you could.
It's thrilling to practice optometry in your own office and build your own professional identity. The opportunity to work in a consulting and advisory capacity with psychologists, regular and special teachers, and guidance clinics offers a constant challenge. There is particular excitement in rendering the optometrist's unique service to a child with learning problems.
Such a career was chosen by the Lady 0.D., Dr. Anita Eberl of Milwaukee, Wis., who says: “There are few professions in which women are accepted on a par with men, and still fewer in which a woman can be absolutely independent. For me, optometry has met these goals."
Establish your own practice. Or, join others in an already established practice.
Many young optometric graduates wish to join other professionals in an established practice. Opportunities exist in this direction for the Lady 0.D. Across the country, successful practitioners are reaching out for young optometrists to join them, preparing in many cases for successors in the years of retirement.
Another outlet for the young lady professional is an entry into a growing realm of activity-group practice. She might join other optometrists to serve the public from a single group of offices, or join with other health service practitioners in a clinical setting to treat many physical problems.
Or, specialize in vision care for children.
Optometrist like her father and proud of her professional heritage is Dr. Ruth Winkler. This Lady 0.D. of Tulsa, Okla., says her life assumes great importance when she works with "young eyes that need visual help and visual training."
Among outstanding child specialists is Dr. Lois B. Bing, consulting optometrist for public schools in Euclid, Ohio. “Working with children has been a goal of mine since early life. It provides a real satisfaction, for, through vision tests and care given each day to schoolchildren, I know I am helping many youngsters
1 Doctor of optometry-profession with a future for women.
meet the challenge of education, and on to happier, fuller lives ahead," says Dr. Bing.
Combine your skills with social service.
Such has been the choice of Dr. Elizabeth E. Caloroso, of Glendale, Calif., who spends a major part of her professional life working with people with social and financial problems in addition to their ocular ones. Her interest in public service is summed up this way: “There is little equality in the contents of wallets or bank accounts. But much of the world's beauty and many exciting happenings are free for the seeing. I am happy to make the world available to those in need."
Or, be a teacher of optometry.
Across the Nation, colleges and schools of optometry have given Lady 0.D.'s the chance to combine that profession with a love for teaching. Dr. Margaret Dowaliby, associate professor in clinical optometry at the Los Angeles College of Optometry, says, “This is a wonderful association for a woman. Working closely with students and other faculty members leads me to many friends, social and professional. Watching our young graduates go on to make their ways professionally, rising as leaders in their communities and making lives more enjoyable for the public they serve, is the teacher's great reward. Optometry has equipped me with two professions : teaching, which is my first love; and a private practice enabling me to share the subsequent valuable experience with my students."
These examples from real life illustrate a few of the professional avenues open to the woman optometrist. But this career opportunity holds many other special appeals for women. Take Dr. Dorthea M. McCoy of Wichita, Kans., who says: "As a professional in a community like Wichita, I have many opportunities to be of service. There are so many things to be done and not enough people who want to do them. Optometry has given me a full, professional career with enough time left to pursue outside activities to the fullest. In fact, I am certain my professional background provides the springboard into the multitude of community services and activities which I so thoroughly enjoy."
This comes from a lady 0.D. who is a member of her National, State, and local optometric group and is a member of a standing committee for the American Optometric Association. She serves her own community through her sorority, her church, and her service club of which she is past president and district vice governor. She finds herself in constant demand as a public speaker. Her example illustrates professional standing-community leadership_hand in hand.
HUSBAND-WIFE PROFESSIONAL TEAM
Drs. Ruth P. and Warren G. Morris of Toledo, Ohio, illustrate the married couple in optometry. They graduated from the Ohio State University School of Optometry and set up their office in Toledo.
Dr. Ruth likes to talk about the husband-and-wife aspects of their profession: "Lots of married couples would give anything to be able to work together and we're lucky to be set for just that as long as we wish. I have my patients. He has his. And some come into the office to ask for either of us. We share the same interests around the clock and, thanks to optometry, my own financial security has enabled me to employ help to take care of the homemaking chores I dislike and I've enjoyed the other household duties as a desirable hobby.”
Optometry offers an outstanding career for women.
In a growing nation, uncrowded optometry will need approximately 27,000 practitioners by 1970. A woman optometrist can set up a general practice, affiliate with an already established practice, or she can specialize in one of many fields. She can work the years that seem best suited to her, take leave for parenthood and return when she wishes.
The minimum 5-year college training in optometry is the way to a world of professional standing and income. Throughout her training and her professional career, the lady 0.D. is accepted and treated as an equal by her male colleagues. For this is a field in which women as well as men are both needed and wanted. It is an exciting, challenging, rewarding, and dynamic profession of service to people.
If this booklet makes you want to know more about the opportunities in optometry, write to the American Optometric Association. Ask for the brochure, “Planning Your Professional Career in Optometry," which lists colleges and their entrance requirements, shows figures on potential income, and describes fully the opportunities awaiting both men and women in this rapidly growing profession.
OPTOMETRY SEEKS BRIGHT YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE LOOKING FOR A
REWARDING, EXCITING PROFESSIONAL CAREER In a growing America (213 million population by 1970) professional people are increasingly in demand. Begin to prepare yourself now.
Thinking about a career which will provide you and your family with a livelihood is only the starting point. You will want that, and in fair measure, to be
Consider also the hours a career will demand of you, the time it will leave you to spend with your family, and whether those hours will be controlled by you or someone else.
Consider the satisfaction of serving people, and of the prestige and respect such service may gain for you. Think of the health factor, your own and that of the people you will be serving. For each type of career in your thinking, consider surroundings in which you would expect to work.
Query your optometrist on these many considerations, and learn firsthand about the attractive and rewarding professional career optometry offers you.
Here is a scientific field devoted to the conservation and correction of man's most precious sense—vision. The human eye has evolved over a period of half a billion years. Next to his brain and heart, the eye undoubtedly has helped man to become the highly sensitive and miraculously adaptive creature that he is. Beyond helping to bring him many advantages in his creative work, the eye also adds to man's pleasure of being alive--because he can discern shape, color, and dimensions which bring a world of beauty into focus.
When you are serving, helping people, giving relief and care to the eyes of the aged, aiding the middle aged to see better, opening a child's eyes to the wonders about him, offering counsel and help when youngsters have reading problems, when these become your daily experiences, you will know the great rewards and inner satisfactions which characterize this inspiring field of optometry.
FINANCIAL RETURNS ARE GOOD
The income of an optometrist is limited only by his professional skills and the efforts he puts forth. His income should equal that of other professional men in his chosen community. It is not uncommon for an optometrist to produce an annual net income of $11,000, the 1958 average, after a few years in practice.
These are financial returns from a profession where you are in command of your own office and time, can set appointed hours for persons to come to you for services, can arrange your calendar to include regulated vacations, and where you do not face forced retirement.
College level subjects in which you would become adept include:
Ocular pathology—which provides the knowledge to recognize diseases in the eye.
Physiology-a study of the body's normal functions.
Psychology of vision—provides knowledge of the mental processes involved in seeing.
Physics and mathematics—to provide knowledge of light and the effect of lenses on light.
Physiological optics—provides knowledge of the function of the visual mechanism.
Geometrical optics-knowledge of lenses.
Mechanical optics—knowledge of ophthalmic glass, lens grinding, adaptation, and fitting.
Theoretical optometry—knowledge of the principles of examination and refraction.
Practical optometry-knowledge of the procedures and techniques of examination, refraction and analysis—to determine your patients' visual status and needs.
Human anatomy, bacteriology, biology, and chemistry-through which you acquire knowledge of bodily functions and changes.
General pathology—by which is acquired knowledge of the relationship of bodily disorders to vision.
Visual training-to help you reeducate and develop the visual skills and ocular coordination.