It is with great sadness that New England College of Optometry notes the passing of alumni Dr. Richard Wallingford Jr., OD ’75. Dr. Wallingford was a past President of the American Optometric Association, serving as 84th President from 2005-2006.
In addition to practicing in Maine, he served on many optometric committees and boards, including the NECO Board of Trustees. In 2015, New England College of Optometry presented Dr. Wallingford with an honorary degree. During his acceptance speech, he shared his advice in a top ten list of helpful tips.
The Top Ten Things I Wish I’d Known When I Graduated from New England College of Optometry by Dr. Wallingford, Jr. OD ’75
- Practice where you want to live. Choose a location for your practice carefully.
- Don’t underestimate the power of clinical experience. These experiences really matter and make you a better doctor.
- Don’t be afraid to challenge any practice modality.
- Balancing the demands of practice with a family life will be a juggling act.
- Expect the unexpected and be flexible. You cannot plan for the twists and turns your life may take.
- No matter where you practice, everyone wants a piece of your pie. Your practice will be impacted by insurance policies and practices.
- Politicians may try to change what your license allows, so get involved with state and local organizations and advocate for the profession.
- Don’t wait until tomorrow to pursue your dreams - live every day to the fullest.
- Some days your practice will be gut-wrenching.
- Some days your practice will be immensely rewarding.
Dr. Wallingford will be remembered for his many contributions to the profession. Read more about Dr. Wallingford from the AOA.
About New England College of Optometry
New England College of Optometry, NECO, is an independent graduate college of optometry that educates students for careers in eye care delivery, research and education. For over 120 years, the New England College of Optometry has been educating optometrists and leaders in the field. Originally founded in 1894 as the Klein School of Optics, NECO prepares the next generation of eye care providers, educators, leaders, and innovators through a rigorous curriculum and extensive clinical experiences. Through a vast network of clinical affiliations, our students put patient care first, providing vision care to children, older adults, the homeless, and individuals with disabilities through our mobile eye clinic, satellite clinics in schools, homeless shelters, community health centers, and VA medical centers.
Media Contact: Ingrid Hoogendoorn, Director of Communications