Optometry’s Family Portrait

June 19, 2015
Celebrate family practice this Father’s Day.
Gaddie family

From left, Bruce Gaddie, O.D., practices with his son, Ben Gaddie, O.D., and his daughter, Samantha, who works in the billing department. Photograph by Pabla Alcala

Excerpted from page 30 of the June 2014 edition of AOA Focus

Family portraits similar to the Gaddie family are not uncommon in the optometry world.

Together since 1999, the Gaddies have gone through their share of challenges. Optometry as a profession has changed its philosophy throughout the years, which can create friction among the generations. And there are personality clashes that only family can incite in one another.

"We're both kind of hardheaded. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree," Bruce Gaddie, O.D., admits of his relationship with son Ben Gaddie, O.D.

Today, the Gaddies see new opportunities instead of conflicts. Like many other families of doctors of optometry, they have discovered the joys and advantages of working together.

Before he died several years ago, Dr. Bruce Gaddie's brother Norman, an optician, worked with him for 40 years. Both of Dr. Bruce Gaddie's children work in his practice: Ben as an OD and his daughter, Samantha, in the billing department. This provides opportunities to "sort out family crises and other situations while we're here," he says.

From a practice standpoint, the respective generations can trade skills and learn from one another, from fitting a pair of frames comfortably to mastering laser surgical procedures. As the families tell it, patients benefit, too.

Read more about the Gaddies and other families who practice optometry together.

Related News

Building relationships

Not sure how to begin your journey as an advocate for optometry? According to an AOA Distinguished Service Award winner, the key is developing relationships with legislators and their staffs. Plus, more tips on advocating successfully.

Persistence pays off

Discover how one AOA member’s experiences influenced one of the profession’s most intensely watched scope expansions in recent history. Plus, join an upcoming virtual summit offering optometry’s advocates an opportunity to collaborate on best practices.

Advocacy from academia

In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, the AOA thanks optometric educators for the impact they make on students and the profession and for preparing the doctors of tomorrow.