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Elliott J. Klonsky, O.D.

One of the things that I enjoy most about practicing optometry is that I get to know family members on a personal basis as well as on a professional basis. I have been here so long (37 years) that I have examined children, seen them grow up, go to college, marry, and have children of their own who I now see as patients! Of course, I have stayed the same age through all of this!

Over the years, one of my biggest challenges has been maintaining the “personal, friendly touch” with our patients in the face of relentless bureaucratic changes in health care. Insurance companies have come between the doctors and the patients by telling us who we can, and cannot examine; how much to accept as payment; what services we’re “allowed” to perform; who we can refer patients to for more specialized care; what medicines we’re “allowed” to prescribe… This sometimes leads to confusion, frustration, and inefficiencies. But we work hard to hold on to the most precious aspect of our work: providing friendly, personalized, professional eye care.

I have a particular interest in how vision develops in children, and how vision problems can impact the way children learn in school. Teachers, psychologists, other eye doctors, and parents have been referring patients to us for our ability to diagnose and treat vision problems that affect learning. Many of these principles also apply to athletes and adults.

This is a “biography,” so I guess I should tell you that I grew up in Reading, Pa. and graduated from Albright College, a small liberal arts college in Reading. I then attended the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Philadelphia, and received a Doctor of Optometry degree in 1975. I then completed a 12 month residency in Vision Therapy from the State College of Optometry, State University of New York, in 1976.

I’ve been active in my professional associations throughout my career. I’ve served as president of the Anne Arundel County Optometric Society, and president of the Maryland Optometric Association. Some of the awards I’ve won over the years include the “Optometrist of the Year” award, presented by the Maryland Optometric Association in 1995, and the “Melvin E. Waxman Award,” presented by the MOA in 2010 for “qualities of character and exceptional professionalism.”

My wife, Linda, has a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems. She teaches and has her own consulting business. My son, David, has a PhD in Clinical Psychology and is an assistant professor at the University of Vancouver, British Columbia. He is married to Lexi, a PhD candidate in Linguisitics at the University of Vancouver. They have a son who shares the same birthday as me!

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