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Students Offered Free Membership in Optometric Historical Society

NECO students and residents are invited to join the Optometric Historical Society, OHS, with a free membership.

The following is a message and invitation to NECO students from Ron Ferrucci, OD '74, FAAO, President, Optometric Historical Society. 

“An important mission of the Optometric Historical Society (OHS) is to help today’s optometry students and young optometrists to understand the past as a way to assist them in forging a successful future.

“Membership in the OHS is free to optometry students and residents and allows access to the journal,  Hindsight (the opposite end of the spectrum from the student AOSA publication Foresight). Hindsight includes articles about the history of our profession and the people who contributed to its progress. 

“When you graduate from optometry school, you will enjoy a wide variety of clinical privileges which will enable you to be a true provider of primary eye care.  Just writing those words makes me proud.

“When I graduated from optometry school in the mid-1970’s, our profession could not make that same statement. For the most part, at the start of our careers, my generation of optometrists was not even allowed to use an eye drop to dilate the eyes, much less to treat the myriad array of eye diseases that we all do today.  As I progressed through the increasingly challenging curriculum, replete with added courses in pharmacology, clinical medicine, and enhanced clinical experiences, it became clear that my colleagues and I were not going to be able to practice to the full extent of our education and training.

 “Many of us began the successful decades-long crusade to advance optometry into the “higher electron orbits” of health care. Some of the major players who made this possible at the state and national levels may have been your parents, your grandparents, or an optometrist who inspired you to enter the field.

“Do you know their stories, their aspirations and struggles? Do you know how they helped to transform optometry from being a profession of “non-medical” refractionists to being the recognized primary eye care profession? Can you use the lessons learned in optometry’s journey to make yourself the kind of leader who will continue to move our profession forward?

“My generation hopes you can. The torch is passed. The challenges are clear—the need to keep enhancing clinical privileges, the need to integrate more fully into the mainstream healthcare system, the need to achieve parity in access to patients and reimbursement for our services. The list goes on…   

“As a student you will undoubtedly come across many interesting aspects of optometric history that relate or contributed to your current studies. If so, we invite you to submit an article for publication in Hindsight.

“Please join the Optometric Historical Society today so we can make history together. Download your application today.

Dr. Ronald Ferrucci, OD, FAAO, is president of the Optometric Historical Society.  While studying at New England College of Optometry, he served as the AOSA President from 1973-74.  Learn more about the Optometric Historical Society.