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Optometry is compassion

Optometry is defined as the professional practice of eye and vision care for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases and conditions of the eye and visual system–but it is so much more!

Optometry is compassionate and comprehensive patient eye health and vision care.

Optometry is the smile on a child’s face when they see the world clearly through their first pair of glasses.

Optometry is the gratitude of a senior when they can read their bible and letters from their grandchildren.

Optometry is the relief shown by patients when we alleviate their eye care concerns.

As I travelled the globe in my two years as the President of the World Council of Optometry I have had the opportunity to meet and work with many dedicated and committed optometrists. In my travels, one thing has been made clear to me… although our scopes of practice might differ around the world, it is the similarities that connect us. We all share the same goals of providing excellent, comprehensive care for our patients as we continue to advocate for the profession. This is what unites us as we focus our efforts where they are most needed to improve the access and levels of eyecare globally and to increase the contributions that optometrists can make to healthcare.

Optometry is a valued profession in all six World Council regions. It doesn’t matter where on this globe we are working, whether we are seeing patients in private clinics, hospitals, schools or out in the field, we see the positive effects of our profession every day. The eye care needs of our patients are paramount and we will continue to advocate for accessible high quality optometric eye health and vision care.

As President, I was fortunate, not only to see our profession at work in so many countries and make many lifelong friends in the process, but also to witness firsthand the dedication of optometrists to both their patients and the profession.

The enormity of the challenge in meeting global eye care needs is daunting. However, my recent experiences show us that collaboration and joint action can take us a long way and provide positive results. I believe that WCO and our members will continue to play a leadership role in promoting eye health and vision care development around the world in close collaboration with other eye care providers and strategic partners.

Photo by: Lea Emerson, YWAM Medical Ships,

#StrongerTogether Photo competition.