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MY BEST DAY Another One May Be Just Around the Corner Dominick M. Maino, OD, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD-A Nothing Wrong with a results. Any day I learn something I did Little Embarrassment not know the day before (even if it is embarrassing) is one of my best days. As the founding Pediatric/Binocular Vision resident* of ICO, I had several While seeking my master’s degree in best days, including a trip to the Illinois education at the University of Illinois School for the Blind with ICO’s mas- at Chicago (UIC), I usually managed ter of Low Vision Rehabilitation, Dr. to talk my professors into allowing me Derrald Taylor. I was working with one to lecture within the course in place of of my colleagues preparing to examine writing a paper or some other course ac- a child who was in a wheelchair and tivity. More often than not, the profes- wearing a helmet, seatbelt and elbow sor said yes, and I had an opportunity guards. I took one look at my motori- to tell those who specialize in education B eing somewhat chronologi- cally impaired patient and said to my all about what optometry has to offer. cally enhanced, I’ve had the resident colleague, “He won’t be able A couple of years after I completed my opportunity to experience to read the eye chart.” The child looked degree, one of ICO’s first-year students several best days within the up at me and said, “Hey, doc, ya wanna came up to me and told me that she de- profession as a student, resident, faculty bet I can’t read that eye chart?” Well, cided she wanted to be an optometrist, member and member of a number of my already short Italian frame shrunk at least in part, because of my presen- optometric organizations. One such ex- to about 2 inches from embarrassment. tation during my course work at UIC. perience, long ago (but not so very far But this patient taught me never to as- This was definitely a best day! away) was when as students, my iden- sume what a patient can or cannot do. The many organizations I have worked tical twin brother and I marched into If anything, always assume the patient with, including the American Acad- Dr. Alfred Rosenbloom’s office to tell can do whatever you want until he or emy of Optometry (AAO), the Ameri- him how to better run the Illinois Col- she proves you wrong. can Optometric Association (AOA), lege of Optometry (ICO). Dr. Rosen- the Optometric Extension Program bloom, at the time, was both President Another lesson taught to me by a pa- tient occurred at ICO. If you know me, Foundation (OEPF) and the College and Dean of ICO. Always the ultimate of Optometrists in Vision Develop- gentleman, he patiently listened to how you know how enthusiastic I tend to be. One day while in our Developmental ment (COVD), have all awarded me we could better get the word out about several opportunities for best days. Any optometry and ICO and encouraged Disabilities Service, I bounded into an examination room, saying very anima- day I have a course accepted by pro- us to do so. To this day, whenever I see grams offered by the AAO and AOA, Dr. Rosenbloom, he reminds me of this tedly, “Hello, I’m Dr. Maino!” with a big smile on my face. The patient, who had it is a best day. When the AOA became event with a big smile on his face as he deeply involved in the eye and vision tells me how proud he is of my accom- been sitting in a wheelchair, flew out of the wheelchair into the air and pro- problems associated with simulated plishments. This was one of those best 3D content and asked me to assist in days because a giant within the profes- ceeded to make a very nice three-point landing on the clinic floor. He was fine getting the word out, it was a best day. sion took the time to listen to two new- Anytime OEPF chooses to reprint a bies and encouraged us to work hard and I learned that patients with cerebral palsy have something called an exagger- book I wrote, it is a best day. And when for the profession. I also consider it a COVD asked me to assume the editor’s best day when someone of Dr. Rosen- ated startle reflex. This patient taught me not only how to become a very calm role of its official journal, Optometry & bloom’s stature believes what I have Vision Development, it was a best day. done to be of note. “Zen Master” but also how to alter my approach to patients depending upon what is needed to obtain the best test (continued on pg 66)Optometric Education 65 Volume 37, Number 2 / Winter-Spring 2012
(continued from pg 65) Looking Forward to More Finally, being able to work at ICO with all my friends and colleagues offers Dr. Maino is a Professor of Pediatrics/Binocu- Best Days lar Vision at the Illinois College of Optometry/ many best day opportunities. Today is On May 1, 2012, Lippincott Williams Illinois Eye Institute, a Fellow of both the such a day. American Academy of Optometry and the Col- & Wilkins will help me to have a best *Because all the new schools and colleges lege of Optometrists in Vision Development, day in the near future when it publishes and the grandfather to Dominic IV and Vin- my next textbook, Visual Diagnosis and of optometry now have “founding” deans, cenzo Maino (who give him many best days!). Care of the Patient with Special Needs. not just the “first” dean of a program, I [co-edited with my fine colleagues, Dr. have chosen this phrase in keeping with Marc Taub (SCCO) and Mary Bartuc- the current terminology. At this point, I cio (NOVA)] should put one of those smiley emoticons … but will refrain from doing so!Optometric Education 66 Volume 37, Number 2 / Winter-Spring 2012