As Dr. Teagle's practice
grew, the field of optometry was experiencing growth brought
about by new technology. With advances in contact lenses,
glaucoma screening and materials used to manufacture eye
glasses, the business became much more diverse. Having his
sons join him after graduating from college has enhanced Dr. Teagle's practice. He referred to his education as an
example of changes that have taken place in recent years.
Dr. Teagle, who graduated from Pomona College, said he was
required to complete two years of college and two years of
optometry school. His sons had to complete four years of
college and four years of optometry school. Robert, Jr. and
Don have brought their extended schooling with working
knowledge of advanced technology to their father's practice.
As an optometrist's role changed from being only an eye
glass dispenser to a practitioner who treats infections,
removes foreign objects from eyes and renders physical
treatment, continuing education has become a requirement for
license renewal. Robert Jr., and Don were on hand to help
their dad transition back to a classroom setting. Dr. Teagle
recently passed the therapeutic medical license exam. He
said it was interesting returning to the classroom after 50
years. Along with the need for continuing education brought
about by technological advances, other changes stemmed from
the growing presence of HMOs according to Robert, Jr. With
many plans, the optometrist is the first eye doctor a
patient sees before being referred to an ophthalmologist. "We
have greater access, longer hours and we're more
cost-effective," he said.
With the availability of new computerized diagnostic
equipment and the training necessary to use it, all three
Teagles share a commitment, built upon a foundation of
learning and a sharing of knowledge, to provide their
patients with the best possible care.