Palmer R. Cook, OD – Class of 1964 – Notable Alumnus

Palmer R. Cook,Our Ohio State Optometry Class of 1964 was the last class that didn’t have the option of obtaining our optometric degree from The Ohio State University without returning for part-time, post-graduate studies. Five of us, John Allen, Roy Schlabach, Glenn Toth, Jack Youshak and I, elected to continue for our fourth year of optometric education at the University of Houston. Nevertheless I believe we all still consider ourselves to be Ohio State optometrists at heart. Following graduation in 1965, I practiced in Eaton, OH (the last exit on I-70 before reaching Indiana) for many years.

For my first 20 years in practice I did my bit in wearing out I-70, traveling to Ohio State to serve as a part-time instructor. I was encouraged in this as well as in the study of optics by one of my favorite professors, Brad Wild.

I have had a life-long interest in books and reading, and I owned and operated a bookstore café in Grandview for several years. I left the book business in 1995, and in January of 1996 I accepted an invitation to join Diversified Ophthalmics in Cincinnati on a full-time basis. Although I had a great interest in pediatric vision care while I was practicing, I decided to focus on optics and lens design after joining Diversified.

In 2003 I began writing feature articles for 20/20 Magazine and L&T (Lens & Technology) Magazine. Both publications are produced by Jobson Publishing. Although my articles do not always conform to the mainstream opinions of the large manufacturers, my editor at Jobson remains supportive of my efforts to keep clinical lens information within the bounds of fact and science.

When I joined Diversified, I don’t believe I had an official job title. That was probably because they were a bit unsure about what to do with me, a comment I’d heard before. Today I am their Vice-President of Practice Enrichment. I write a weekly bulletin for the Eye Care Practitioner (ECP) Network, a 1000+ member affiliate of Diversified. Both the bulletin and the ECP Network strongly support independent optometric practice. I also write a monthly column for Diversified’s newsletter and a weekly Bulletin for the ECP Network. I frequently consult on lens and eyewear design for optometrists coast to coast.

I have dabbled at writing fiction. The 2012 Goose River Anthology published one of my favorite short stories, Mr. Willy Talks about Tonsils, as its lead short story. At present I am still working full time. Developing a practical device to allow clinicians to measure the index of unknown lenses in-office is a current pet project. I also enjoy cooking, woodworking, reading, writing, and relaxing (in about that order).