Congratulations to Dr. Selwyn Super, on becoming an FCOVD-A; Academic Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. Dr. Super began his optometric career in South Africa. He has been a key player in advancing the profession of optometry world-wide. He has traveled extensively to both learn more and share his knowledge about optometry, vision, and its interface with other disciplines and professions.
Dr. Super has a deep appreciation for the importance of collaboration and research for any profession to “develop and thrive in a world of continuous and accelerating change and demands.” For example, how do certain visual functions change with age? This clinical question has become more emergent with the aging of the “baby boomer generation” and the increasing prevalence of degenerative processes, such as Alzheimer’s Disease. By using technology, it is easier than ever for clinicians to collectively gather normative information. Only then can the clinician make well-informed decisions about treatments and their expected outcomes.
I just re-read Dr. Super’s publication on the “spiral curriculum in optometric education.” Although it was written more than 20 years ago, it still rings true today, especially as the schools and colleges of optometry are faced with an ever-expanding knowledge base, new technologies, and an unfathomable need for eye and healthcare around the world. “Optometric education should set out to integrate knowledge, skills, intentions, and attitudes from the inception and should make excellence in human relations as well as in clinical and practice skills, its major goal. The philosophy of optometry and optometric education should encompass a willingness and commitment to change so as to adapt to new knowledge, scientific discovery, technologic advances, a changing environment and changing human needs.” Well said, Selwyn.