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Deriving Satisfaction in Retirement by Making a Difference in My Community

By Rick Wilson, MD

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This article originally appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of Scope.

When I was a practicing glaucoma specialist, I was able to touch people's lives on a daily basis I felt I made a difference every day and enjoyed great professional satisfaction Soon after I stopped practicing, however, I found myself missing the opportunity to help others I struggled with wanting to help others through ophthalmology, but without overly interfering with my active retirement plans Volunteering in retirement for EyeCare America provided me with this perfect balance.

A few times each year, I help get the word out in my community about the importance of eye exams and how EyeCare America can help the medically underserved receive sight-saving care As a spokesperson, I submit letters to the editors of my local newspapers, speak to local reporters, distribute EyeCare America materials at health fairs and senior centers, and make presentations at local civic organizations I can pick and choose how much to get involved and what type of activity I wish to do Because the EyeCare America staff makes my involvement so easy (they write the draft letters, provide PowerPoints, contact the local media), I usually try to do two or three activities a year.

I am proud to represent my profession and EyeCare America, which has helped more than 1 million people since its inception As President Ronald Regan said at the launch of EyeCare America (formerly the National Eye Care Project – NECP) in 1985, "This is volunteerism at its finest." I agree!!!

For more information about becoming a spokesperson for EyeCare America, call their administration line, toll-free, at 877.887.6327. You can also find more information at

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