Dr. Bailey HeadshotWhat is your favorite part about being an optometrist?
Whenever I’m asked about my “favorite”, I respond to my children with “I don’t have favorites or play favorites”. I enjoy so many things that it is hard to pick favorites; except ice cream, which is peanut butter and vanilla swirl. The same goes for optometry. As a pediatric optometrist, I get to do so many things that make the children happy, their parents happy, and bring a smile to my face.  It may be as simple as prescribing glasses for a myopic child for the first time and his/her facial and verbal reaction when he/she can see the letters on the chart or the leaves on the trees for the first time. It is also giving the extreme hyperopic infant glasses and watching them lift their head, look around the room, and smile at mom and dad as if seeing them for the first time, as simultaneously his/her parents begin to cry happy tears.  It is having a vision therapy patient bring me a report card and showing me that his/her grades of D/F in reading and history are now A’s and B’s…I often get goosebumps when this happens.  It is taking a child with exotropia or esotropia, who has poor vision, poor depth perception, and poor self-confidence from being teased, and “fixing” the strabismus providing him/her a new view of the world and of himself/herself.  And, it is having a deeply amblyopic child, who is compliant with treatment, recover many lines of vision and develop depth perception. I love my job now as much as I did in 1995 when I graduated, and if asked, would do it all over again. There is no other profession in which I can see myself working as happily as pediatric optometry.
 
Tell me about your time at Salus/PCO. Why did you choose to do your residency here?
I chose PCO simple answer is Dr. Scheiman. I wanted to train under Dr. Scheiman.

Dr. Bailey and Patient
As Salus/PCO celebrates 100 years in 2019, what are your hopes for the college in the next 100 years?
First of all, I hope that optometry and ophthalmology can work out their resistance in working together. PCO continues to be a part of that and make that happen. I hope optometry does not go to digital online eye exams. And, really having the right bedside manner.
Optometry has come so far in the last 100 years!  Imagine examining a patient without an autorefractor, slit lamp, OCT, tonopen, and using only loose lenses to prescribe glasses….all without the use of dilating drops.  Imagine having to always refer to the ophthalmologist for any vision problem other than the need for glasses or vision therapy. I can’t. PCO was a big part of that transition of optometrists from refractionists to optometric physicians. I hope PCO stays as strong as they always have been by having the best faculty, training the top students to be the best optometrists, continuing to do the research that changes the way we practice and treat disease, and investing in themselves to have the best resources and equipment to do these tasks. 
 
As for optometry as a whole in the next 100 years, I really hope that optometry and ophthalmology can “work it out” for the better care of our patients.  We need to stop being territorial and realize that each profession has a role in the vision care of our patients.  We will provide better, more efficient care of both vision and medical health problems if we work as team rather than adversaries.  At St. Christopher’s Hospital for children, we have such a team.  There are parts of eye care that optometrists do best and parts of eye care that ophthalmologists do best.  And if we all did “our best” all of the time, our patients will benefit.  And isn’t that what it’s about…our patients!