Dr. Knight discusses diversity and inclusion in optometry.
Millicent L. Knight, OD, FAARM, FAAO, FNAP: You know, it’s really interesting the changing face of Optometry. When I started up Optometry school, my class was approximately 20% female. And obviously you notice that the demographics have changed significantly. It’s probably flipped, over the last few years as a member of the board of trustees of the Illinois College of Optometry, I was really interested in making sure that we had some cultural sensitivity courses added into not only the curriculum, but I think it starts at the top. And so we started with the board, the board, the faculty, and really everyone that’s going to touch that patient, because it’s really important for that patient to trust their eye care provider or their health care provider. And the way that you best trust is that you feel that that person is culturally sensitive to you. I think you should be open and not box yourself into a particular demographic. And so you should be open to being able to practice wherever you like to practice or wherever the opportunity presents itself. And that means that we are going to have to recognize that we have a diverse population and we want to make sure that we’re prepared to provide the best care to whomever comes through our door.