Summer 2017
ICO Matters Summer 2017 Talking Heads - Arol Augsburger, Barry Siegel, Sepideh Omidghaemi Summer 2017

Personality in Your Practice
To become doctors, ICO students must all learn the same techniques and pass the same NBEO exams. Health care requires efficiency and precision, so creativity often takes a back seat. How do you inject your own individuality, personality, and sense of humor into your practice?

Arol Augsburger, OD

Celebrating 15 Years as President of ICO

I cared for patients for over thirty years at OSU and UAB before coming to ICO as President. I was also in charge of up to 10 courses each year, so there wasn’t much extra time for creativity- with the exception of raising our three sons during those years! That certainly required individual approaches, and it helped to have a good sense of humor.

Now, the three sons are grown and I enjoy playing golf with several of the eleven grandchildren. My game has gotten better over the last twenty years and it is always a pleasure to do something fun and fascinating to complement my leadership role at ICO.

Barry Siegel, OD ’69

When I graduated from ICO, I knew that if I were going to practice and be successful, I had to feel comfortable every day. My people skills and sense of humor could help me achieve that goal. I decided to enjoy myself, and have my patients do the same- without compromising my professionalism and skills as an OD.

My goal is to have every patient have a smile by the time they leave. Telling jokes is not my forté, but using some creativity in reacting to a patient’s individual personality has worked well. As an example, I had a patient who told me he would be attending Harvard University in the fall. I said, “Congratulations,” then asked him if that’s the best he could do. He had a good chuckle.

I believe that is what has made my practice grow for me over the last 48 years. You can use all the new technology, but if you cannot relate to a patient, it makes for a long haul.

Sepideh Omidghaemi, OD ’15

Being an artist has given me the opportunity to explore creativity, use my imagination in unlimited directions, and communicate universally. Being a scientist has taught me discipline and structure. Having the opportunity to employ these two fields together has made me much more dynamic, and helped me succeed in becoming an optometrist.

There is a perception that art and science are different fields of study. I believe otherwise- that art inspires discoveries in science, and science offers the building blocks of art. I encourage future optometry students to keep their passions, hobbies, and goals aligned. Form a uniform that makes you feel individualistic. For me, it was art.

One of my favorite quotes is by Albert Einstein: “After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in aesthetics, plasticity, and form.” The greatest scientists are artists.

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