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Ocularist in Utah

Here is a really neat story on a colleague of ours in Utah. Great guy, great story!

Read a short excerpt of the article here:

Surely you’ve heard of an eye surgeon, but do you know about the small group of men and woman world wide who create prosthetic eyes?

They’re called ocularists, and their job is to create a variety of prosthetic eyes for the thousands of people who lose vision in their eyes due to accidents, disease or various other medical conditions each year.

“It’s a rare field,” said Richard Caruso, an ocularist in Utah. “There’s close to 160 to 180 ocularists in training or board certified around the world.”

However, not every state in the country has an ocularist, and Utah has only two practicing ocularists.

“We service St. George, we get clients from Arizona, Nevada and California, because it’s easier for them,” said Caruso.

Caruso said an ocularist must have a bachelor’s degree, but the course of study is irrelevant. After graduating from college, an ocularist must commit to a five-year training program and travel around the country to learn from other ocularists.

“You go every six months to a new city for a week,” said Caruso. “All the lectures and testing are done through the organization.”

Caruso also keeps up with continuing education every six months.

Caruso said he keeps a close relationship with eye surgeons to make sure both give patients the best artificial eye possible.

“That’s what I’m trying to do: fool everyone,” Caruso said. “Get the best color, the best fit of the existing eye. What I really shoot for is ‘didn’t you have an eye surgery?’ It looks that good.”

Caruso said he loves what he does for a living.

“For me it’s the best job in the world. I hate the fact that people need my service, but I love the way they look and the way they feel by the time they leave my office.”