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    Hail and farewell

    The older I become, it seems the faster time flies. Five years ago, I was asked by someone I greatly respect and admire to become chief optometric editor of this publication. Now, five years later, the time has flown by in a blur, and I am moving on.

    It has been one of the greatest honors of my professional career to serve in this role. This position has allowed me to converse with many of our readers, which I have genuinely enjoyed. It is also helped to thicken my skin. While some of you at times have disagreed with my opinions, I appreciate the fact that for the most part it has been a civil discourse. In this day and age, that’s a rarity. Thank you for reading, and thank you for writing.

    Previously from Dr. Bowling: The changing dry eye dynamic

    Yet, I also hope you have come to know how much I love optometry. This profession has given a broken-down coal miner more than he ever thought he would have in his life, and that is a debt I can never repay. Whatever challenges optometry may confront, I will always believe it's the greatest profession on earth.

    I couldn’t leave without saying a heartfelt thank you to Gretchyn Bailey, the person I mentioned at the beginning. She took a huge chance five years ago, and I hope I have not let her down. Our publisher UBM is a huge conglomerate, but to most of us, Gretchyn is Optometry Times. She is a true gem, and I will sincerely miss our collaboration.

    The doctor stepping in to this position, Ben Casella, is the perfect choice to lead this publication forward. He is all the things I am not: young, sharp, clinically astute, technologically wired, and with a full head of hair. When he was my green intern, I asked him how old he was.

    I have taken great pride in watching Ben develop into one of the finest young clinicians in practice—just read his regular glaucoma columns in these pages to recognize his acumen. He comes from a long line of optometrists, so the history of our profession is not lost on him. Heck, he has lived it. He has served as president of the Georgia Optometric Association, so he is familiar with the concerns facing our profession. His father Tom is the embodiment of a true Southern gentleman, and the apple has not fallen far from the tree. And Ben still looks like he isn’t old enough to shave.

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the opportunity.

    Read more from Dr. Bowling here

    Ernie Bowling, OD, MS, FAAO
    Dr. Ernie Bowling is Chief Optometric Editor of Optometry Times. He received his Doctor of Optometry and Master of Science in ...

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