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Diplomate Spotlight – Dr. John O’Donnell

O'Donnell ImageWhen Dr. John O’Donnell graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1983, the option to become board certified did not exist.  He did, however, complete externships at Walson Army Hospital and the Lynch Pediatric Unit of the Eye Institute. He then chose to practice in an MD/OD setting and continues that role today at Premier Eye Care Group in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. “I’ve always felt that being in a medical setting has allowed me to practice at the highest level of my skills and exposed me to a wider array of clinical experiences,” said Dr. O’Donnell. “And the addition of a surgery center to our practice has provided an opportunity for an appropriate integration of ophthalmology and optometry, each able to practice their profession fully and best serve their patients.”

When board certification did become available in 2011, Dr. O’Donnell decided to pursue the credential for three distinct reasons. First and foremost was for personal and professional development. Secondly, he felt board certification would provide patients with recognition of his attainment of advanced certification above initial licensure and evidence of his commitment to lifelong learning.  And finally, to demonstrate parity with other board certified professions. As Dr. O’Donnell explains, “With all of my ophthalmology colleagues being board certified, it is personally rewarding for me to be able to indicate that I, too, am board certified.”

Glaucoma patients now make up the majority of Dr. O’Donnell’s patient base, having landed in this role in the late 1990’s when a need arose for a glaucoma care provider at his practice. He has since become a Diplomate in the Glaucoma Section of the American Academy of Optometry and was elected to the Optometric Glaucoma Society in 2017. Dr. O’Donnell is also a member of the American Optometric Association, the Pennsylvania Optometric Association and the World Glaucoma Association.

When not serving his patients at Premier Eye Care Group, Dr. O’Donnell spends as much time possible with his wife, Jane, who is a respiratory therapist and his three children, Kate, John and Michael. He is also loving his new role as a grandpa with the birth of his first grandchild, Henry. Filling up any other free time, Dr. O’Donnell enjoys photography and working with Adobe Photoshop, genealogy and traveling.

ABO would like to thank Dr. O’Donnell for his many contributions to the profession and for being an advocate for board certification. Your efforts and support are sincerely appreciated.