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Sandbox Story - Interview of Dr. John Potter


Dr. John Potter is a true treasure to the profession. A graduate of the Indiana University School of Optometry, he has been at the forefront of every major evolutionary step in Optometry over the last fifty years. He saw the profession move from vision science to eye care, through his education but also in his experience as an OD in the Navy, an instructor at UAB, and also as a volunteer in Tennessee who helped transform the profession in its journey to implement diagnostic and therapeutic pharmaceutical care. His work in co-management of laser vision correction patients forged paths on yet another new frontier, through work on behalf of TLC Laser Eye Centers.

Yet after all of his time in Optometry, he used his intellectual basis to move into an entirely different career as an educator - now serving as clinical associate professor of dispute resolution and conflict management at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.


His phrase that “the OD degree is enough…” is compelling because it’s true for everyone with such, and especially true for the arc of his career. In this interview, captured in 2022, Dr. Potter speaks about his experiences with so many other visionaries in Optometry, and does so with an unassuming and humble attitude. Within our conversation, he illuminates an incredible experience with UAB’s Dr. Henry Peters in which they pursued the notion that Optometry was truly a health care profession capable of independent diagnosis of patient conditions - it’s one of the most compelling stories I’ve ever heard.


The Stories within the Story include:

1:20 The Gradeschool Essay Story

2:50 The IU Story

3:53 The IU Legends Story

5:18 The Dr. Irv Borish Story

9:06 The Mentor Story

11:45 The Push to Education Story

13:30 The Naval Optometry Story

19:55 The Treatment of a Foreign Body Story

22:36 The Dr. Henry Peters “Diagnosis” Story

34:40 The Therapeutics Story

36:07 The Dr. David Sullins Story

39:36 The Laser Vision Treatment Story

55:00 The Patient Advocacy Services Story

59:00 The Conflict Resolution Career Story

1:09:26 The 1990’s Eye Exam Assessment Story

1:13:51 The Caring for Others Story

Run time: 1 hr 17 min


Check it out:

YouTube video podcast: https://youtu.be/eJRx8jkQ92M

Audio Podcast Apps: search for "Sandbox Stories" on Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon, Pandora and more!

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