A Passionate Optician [Maggie Sayers]

I had the pleasure of meeting a remarkable man at OptiCon in Nashville. My mission at OptiCon was to present a 10 hour educational track on refraction. We pulled from the tremendous amount of knowledge and wisdom of the educators present at this annual ABO/NCLE conference. Retinoscopy is part of the program and usually, it gets some video footage combined with some hands-on scoping of a schematic eye. Not so in Nashville. We had a full two hour workshop on Retinoscopy, most of it hands-on, and it was without a doubt the best part of our workshop series. It was one man that made all the difference, Bernie Stewart.

“If you were told retinoscopy is difficult, forget about it. I will teach you like my father taught me and it will be easy.” His passion for teaching retinoscopy gave all of us the courage to really try. And there Bernie sat, for two hours, having each student practice retinoscopy on him. He was totally focused on each individual student, making sure that they saw the motion and interpreted it correctly. While Bernie was working his magic, Patrick Goughary and Val Spellman, two outstanding instructors, supported students in practicing with the schematic eye and using some loose lens retinoscopy.

We all learned a lot and some of us may move on to become great retinoscopists. And it is all because of Bernie Stewart’s ability to share his knowledge in such a passionate way. Thank you.

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