Diplomate Spotlight – Lillian Kalaczinski, OD

November 17, 2021

In 2010 when the American Board of Optometry was finalizing the first board certification exam, Dr. Lillian Kalaczinski was serving on the Board of the Michigan Optometric Association and the concept immediately resonated with her. “At the time, I was working in a multidisciplinary health center and had to explain to credentialing bodies that I was not board certified because there was not an option for optometry,” said Dr. Kalaczinski. “Becoming board certified removed that hurdle in credentialing. Even more important to me personally is that participation in a formal maintenance of certification process demonstrates a commitment to life-long learning to patients and colleagues which is the reason I maintain certification to this day.”

A 1998 graduate of the Michigan College of Optometry, Dr. Kalaczinski went on to complete a residency in primary care at the Illinois College of Optometry before returning to her alma mater. Currently an associate professor and Chief of Primary Cares services, she enjoys serving a diverse patient population, ranging from healthy young adults to older adults with complex ocular disease. She also serves as the ABO liaison to the college, keeping students informed of the board certification process and the benefits of a structured path for maintaining skill and knowledge after graduation.

Dr. Kalaczinski believes the creation of ABO aligned optometry with other health professions that expect and encourage board certification. “It provided a certification option for clinical, rank and file optometrists to demonstrate advanced competency and on-going learning which was previously not available,” she said. “Personally, the review and learning required by the MOC process keeps my knowledge current and more well-rounded.”

A member of both the American Optometric Association and the Michigan Optometric Association, Dr. Kalaczinski was named the 2021 American Optometric Association Educator of the Year and the 2020 Michigan Optometric Educator of the Year. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a member of the American Public Health Association.

As a health and fitness enthusiast, Dr. Kalaczinski and her husband David enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking, biking, skiing and cheering on their two teenage sons playing basketball, swimming and rowing. She also loves reading and listening to a wide range of music. She and David have attended over 50 concerts in their 20 years together and they hope to attend many more!

We appreciate Dr. Kalaczinski’s support of ABO and board certification and thank her for her continued dedication to providing the highest quality care for the patients she serves.



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