The future of our profession is in the hands of these young optometrists. They are going to stand on-and expand upon-the hard-fought gains by the generations of ODs who came before them.
On the last day of January, I had the distinct honor to lecture at the Georgia Optometric Association's Super CE meeting in Atlanta. Having practiced in northwest Georgia for the majority of my career, I got to see a lot of old friends and make many new ones. The highlight of the weekend for me personally, though, was getting to spend some time catching up with Ben Casella, OD, FAAO.
Ben is a third-generation optometrist from Augusta, GA. He is a graduate of the UAB School of Optometry, and I'm proud to say one of my former students. After completing an ocular disease residency at SUNY, he returned to the family practice started in 1948 by his grandfather. Ben is a member of our Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board and authors the magazine’s glaucoma column. I do not know a more clinically savvy young optometrist.
He is also very active politically on behalf of our profession. Ben is currently the treasurer of the Georgia Optometric Association, working his way through the officer chairs. Ben was named the Young OD of the South by SECO International in 2014. I’m certain his father Thomas is very proud of his son’s accomplishments. Talking with Ben, he obviously has a great pride in the family practice that is now in his charge, but you really see his eyes brighten when he talks of his wife Laura and their two children Carter and Elisabeth.
The future of our profession is in the hands of these young optometrists. They are going to stand on-and expand upon-the hard-fought gains by the generations of ODs who came before them. They know from where our profession has come, but more importantly know where our profession is at the moment and have a vision of where our profession needs to be in the years to come so optometrists everywhere can better care for their patients. When I see Dr. Ben Casella and many of the young ODs at these meetings-optometrists who are passionate about our profession and willing to put their time and treasure toward its betterment-I know optometry’s future is in good hands.