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

Congratulations to the AOA’s 2024 award winners

The winners will be honored at a ceremony during Optometry’s Meeting® 2024.

Optometric foundation’s track record leads to $2.5 million grant for children’s eye care in Ohio

The state’s new Children’s Vision Initiative will work toward providing eye care to students throughout the state via the Ohio Optometric Foundation’s iSee program. Under the program, doctors of optometry volunteer to provide services to students who have been referred by school nurses and teachers.

115 years of family eye care

What Natalie Noble, O.D., has learned from three previous generations of optometrists. She is the fourth generation of her family to serve Pennsylvania communities.