Do you have any regrets?
No. I don’t regret anything. I love life, I live every day to the fullest, and I’m going to continue to live that way.
Do you see changes in ethnic diversity within eye care?
Absolutely. You can definitely see it at my alma mater, PCO. I think it has the biggest diverse background of students graduating from optometry school, and I see it in eyecare offices. The profession before was mainly Caucasian men, and now you’re seeing folks of African descent and women.
What’s one thing you would change about optometry as it stands now?
I would change the relationship between traditional optometry and disruptive technology. We need to figure out how to incorporate disruptive technology because it’s not going anywhere, and not all of it is bad. We need to sit down with these companies to figure out how we can work together and use this technology in our practices to make optometry more accessible to folks across the world. For example, EyeNetra—I like its products. They can be used in an optometric office. Say you have a patient come in, and before you go in for the refraction, he has a device in his hand and has already found his prescription by the click of a few buttons. Put him behind the phoropter, see what he found, and make a few tweaks. It will streamline the exam process. A lot of these guys aren’t anti-optometry, trying to shut us down. They are just trying to figure out their lane. If we are open to listening and giving our valid opinions, then we can find a level playing ground. But we should be the guys controlling this disruptive technology and not leaving it in the hands of anyone.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
When my wife and a few of our friends went zip-lining in Jamaica. Look, I do not like to do anything adventurous. It was a traditional zip line from one stage to next stage. But when we got to the end, one part was a 100-foot drop; you dropped from the top to the bottom. I was scared the entire time and making the tour guide’s job difficult. So, when it came down to this last thing, I was like, “Dude, I’m not going to do this. “Everyone was screaming at me, “Darryl, you got to do it!” I ended up doing it. If you could see my face, if you could hear my screams, if you could see my legs, you would pee your pants because it was that funny. The guide let everyone else down slow. For the first 10 feet, he let me down slowly, and for the remainder he just let it completely rip. The ride felt like a lifetime when I was going down but in reality was probably only 10 seconds.