When her three children were growing up, Martha Rosemore Morrow, O.D., prayed they'd be healthy, happy grownups. Although she wanted them to be fulfilled in whatever line of work they later chose, Dr. Morrow was thrilled when they all went to optometry school.
Today, they all practice in different parts of the country: Dana Biederman, O.D., in Texas; Mindabeth Levin, O.D., in Maryland; and Stuart Greenberg, O.D., in Alabama.
"I'm very proud of their decisions to go into optometry," says Dr. Morrow, who has been in practice for 45 years in Alabama. "They all worked in my practice when they were in high school and were home from college. They learned how a private practice works: insurance, patient handling ... I always hoped they would understand the importance of my profession and how I truly believe in the Optometric Oath.
"As I told them as they grew up, it is important to be happy in what you do," she adds. "Happiness can be derived from many sources. For me, it was optometry. I can't begin to express how proud I am of all of my children."
In celebration of Mother's Day, this optometric family shares their experiences
Who inspired you to become a doctor of optometry?
Dr. Morrow: My father, Fredric Rosemore, O.D., taught me the love of optometry. I worked in his office every day after school even when I was very young. When I was in kindergarten, I told everyone that I was going to be an optometrist when I grew up. Both my mother and my father influenced me. My mother grew up in a time where it was "more important" (theoretically) for a son to get an education. Even though my mother was quite brilliant in school, she couldn't attend college. Therefore, she thought it was extremely important-in fact, imperative-for all their children be able to get as much education as possible.
Dr. Biederman: Growing up, I'd see my mother work hard every day and her love and dedication to optometry. Now that I have my own private practice, she listens and helps guide me when necessary. It has allowed for my growth and the success that I have accomplished in a short time.
Dr. Levin: I was inspired by the passion my late grandfather and my mom had for the profession. My mom's compassionate nature has a positive influence on me every day, personally and professionally
What do you love about optometry?
Dr. Morrow: There is not a single day that has gone by in optometry that I didn't feel that I was helping someone. It's a rewarding feeling. My father had the Optometric Oath framed on his wall and explained what those words truly meant to him, and later, to me. I saw him one day a week do his own welfare program to help those less fortunate. He examined children and adults in need and provided free eyewear to them. He was a great example to follow.
Dr. Biederman: Being able to help patients and being part of a profession that allows me to give back to the community.
Dr. Levin: I love the rewarding feeling of helping others.
On this Mother's Day, how will you celebrate?
Dr. Morrow: This Mother's Day, I will happily be spending time with my mother, Marion Rosemore, who soon will be 93 years old. My mother was honored in 2017 by Southern College of Optometry with the doctor of humane letters for recognizing her support of optometry in many avenues. Yes, I'm very proud of my mother.
Dr. Beiderman: I will be with family and celebrating with my own kids and husband. I have two children, Finn, 7, and Sloane, 5.
Dr. Levin: My husband, Richard Levin, O.D., and I will be spending Mother's Day as new parents. Our baby girl, Charleigh, was born in December.
What's the best part of being a mother?
Dr. Morrow: The best part of being a mother is trying to help your children be the best they can be. Hopefully, they will take things they have learned from me and be even better.
Dr. Biederman: The best part of being a mother is watching my kids grow up and learn things every day. Being able to teach them things that my mother has taught me.
Dr. Levin: Well, I'm new at this, but so far, everything is the best.
Although about 13% of the U.S. population is Black, they are woefully underrepresented in optometry. They represent about 2% of practicing doctors of optometry and a little over 3% of full-time students in optometry schools and colleges, according to studies. Black doctors of optometry seek to grow those numbers.
A crusader for vision and eye care in local, state and national communities, Patricia spread her love for the AOA across the country. The AOA sends condolences and thanks to the Hopping family for their years of service.
Learn how you can apply or nominate a doctor of optometry for the 2024 AOA Leadership Institute.