In my first career, I was a Marine fighter pilot and as my flying career was drawing to a close I had to figure out where my next life’s challenge would come from. I grew up in Layton, Utah and my next-door neighbor was an Optometrist whom I admired and he could be considered my mentor or guiding force that leads me into the Optometry field. His encouragement and life moved me to pursue Optometry.
My favorite part of taking care of eyes is the joy it brings to people’s lives as you bring them into a clear and beautiful world. The satisfaction of bringing an uncorrected 12-year-old -2.00 D myope into a world he didn’t know he was missing. The elation of the Lasik patient that is handicapped without a correction and suddenly enters into the sighted world without any visual correction. Bottom line, ” I enjoy making people happy with their vision.”
The thing that I am most proud of with Optometry is the position it puts you in to change or enhance people’s lives. Through co-management of Cataracts, Laser Refractive Surgery, Ocular disease, visual correction, Optometry, is at the forefront of Vision. It has been said that 80% of learning is visual, so in a sense, we are educators in more ways than one, through vision improvement and patient education.
If one thing can be said about me it is that I have watched and participated in today’s phenomenal boom in visual improvement. Early in my eye care career, I sent patients to Canada for PRK because it wasn’t approved in the United States. Refractive surgery has changed the way you look at eyes whether it’s wavefront-optimized or Contoura with Iris registration and pupil tracking I will also admit I have referred patients for RK. I have watched aphakia cataract surgery go from a three-day hospital stay with a scleral incision and 7-10 sutures to close to pseudophakia, an outpatient procedure, that takes approximately 15 minutes to perform. I look forward to the innovations in the future such as the EVO ICL with a central port for the high refractive patients. It should be noted that with increasing technology comes additional responsibility to diagnose and treat patients to greater success levels than seen in the past.
I continue to try and stay current with the emerging technologies by continuing education and by having collaborative discussions with my colleagues.
I don’t know of any greatest achievements, however, I have some events that stand out in my life of which I am proud or at least grateful for and they are not arranged in order of importance:
- 180 Carrier Landings of which 35 are at night./ 2000 hours in the A6 intruder/ 600 hours in the A-4 Skyhawk
- I have been shot at a number of times and fortunately, they all missed. Winston Churchill said it best, “Nothing in life is as exhilarating as to be shot at and missed.”
- Father of nine children that are good citizens.
Successfully and happily married for over 32 years
- Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- Past President of the North Carolina Optometric Society and successful Practicing Optometrist
- Successfully helped build a Multioffice Optometric LLC in North Carolina.