Boy, if Frederick Boger could see us now. The founding editor of this publication gave his creation the mission of being “a fountain-head of reliable information—a monthly visitor, in whose columns will be found a clear exposition of all the latest ideas.” Authors were tasked with “knowing all that the text book has taught and applying that knowledge to daily occurrences.” The year was 1891.
Every word of that mission statement rings true a century and a quarter later. We still strive to fill these pages with educational pieces that are academically sound but written with practical purposes in mind. So, Boger would find much that’s familiar in this modern descendent of the publication, originally called The Optician at launch. What might bemuse (and, hopefully, please) him is the huge scope of it.
The profession of optometry has changed radically in the last 125 years, most notably because it didn’t even exist back in 1891. Jewelers fit glasses and ophthalmologists treated eye disease. Boger had a vision (excuse the easy pun) of a new profession distinct from the jewelry trade. He’s said to have coined the word “optometry”—and surely he popularized it through use in this publication month after month.
From Boger’s day on, Review of Optometry has consistently been an advocate for optometry’s evolution. Editors, publishers and optometric leaders lobbied in these pages for the acceptance of contact lenses, diagnostic and therapeutic drugs, surgical comanagement, you name it.
As we begin our anniversary year, the topics covered in this issue show just how big the footprint of optometry has grown.
First, we begin with four features that comprise our annual series on pharmaceuticals. Whereas once we might have talked on a more basic level, this year’s education addresses high-level concerns like medication use in pregnant patients, ocular adverse effects of systemic meds, a review of psychotropic drugs and a CE course on managing ocular pain.
After that, we return to the very roots of optometry—refraction—with a detailed protocol you can use to standardize your office’s approach, as a means of reducing errors and improving precision. This comes courtesy of our friends at the University of Iowa, who developed it at their institution and report that it saves chair time and frustration.
We’ve tried to not lose sight of bread-and-butter topics like refraction even as we help our readers embrace new frontiers in clinical care. That’s certainly where our features conclude this month, as Oklahoma’s Nate Lighthizer, OD, provides step-by-step instructions on how to perform selective laser trabeculoplasty, for ODs in states progressive enough to allow it (and those to come). Somewhere, I’ll bet, Frederick Boger is smiling.This July, look for a special commemorative issue that tells the story of optometry (and RO’s role in it) from 1891 to 2016. If you’d like to share your opinions and stories for possible inclusion, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.