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Optometry and the Media

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Optometry and the Media
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Happy Days vs ER

Optometry doesn't seem to be one of those "glamour" professions, for some reason. You know, there are all kinds of TV shows and movies portraying all kinds of doctors, both good and bad. George Clooney (in ER), Harrison Ford (the Fugitive), Robert Young (Marcus Welby, MD). It seems many great actors have portrayed medical doctors at some point in their career, but it's always a doctor dealing with life and death struggles....heart attacks, AIDS, gunshot victims.

But you never see Optometrists in movies or on TV. Why is that? We Optometrists are exciting, sexy people, just like the trauma doctors on ER, aren't we? We have challenges. We have struggles. Our lives and profession could be dramatized, couldn't it?

Just once, I'd like to see Arnold Schwarzenegger try to put a contact lens in the eyes of an eleven year old girl with a ten millimeter vertical iris diameter and tight eyelids.....only to have her ask "Does this come in colors" when he finally gets done. "You've just been erased."

The only reference to an optometrist I've ever seen on a TV show was the Happy Days series with Ron Howard which ran in the late seventies. Ralph Malph's dad was supposed to have been an Optometrist on that series. RALPH MALPH'S DAD, for pete's sake!!! You never even saw him on the show. They just SAID that his dad was an Optometrist. Why couldn't it have been the dad of one of Fonzie's girlfriends or something?

Ralph Malph's DAD!!!??????

Clealy, Optometrists are being discriminated against in the media. They aren't represented in an appropriately positive light, nor are the numbers of Optometrists in the media consistent with the percentages of people who are Optometrists in real life. Statistically, one out of every ten people portrayed on TV is either a medical doctor or a lawyer.

And the ONLY optometrist is RALPH MALPH's DAD!!!!!

(Did I already mention that?)

I think there should be an Optometrist on Star Trek. At some point, Jean Luc Picard or Spock or SOMEBODY should beam down to a barren wasteland of a planet and lose a contact lens. Then they should get into a phaser fight with the local bad guys, a race of reptilian monsters with a chronic bacterial conjunctivitis. The away team is losing the battle until the ship Optometrist (played by someone like Brad Pitt or Jennifer Aniston) beams down with the needed replacement AcuVue 14 (a free trial, of course, base curve 8.3) and saves the day. While there, he also treats the alien race, and they are so overjoyed, they sign a peace treaty with the federation and share their scientific research on warp drive modifications as well as a new weapon that only kills 1-800-Contacts sales people.

But NOOOO!!!!

We're stuck with Ralph Malph's dad!!!!!

You should proceed to the next page, unless you work for 1-800-Contacts or are Ralph Malph's dad.