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A Visionary Leader: Dr. Murray Fingeret’s Impact on the Optometric Landscape

January 24, 2024

Welcome to our Visionary Series, a dynamic new addition to our multimedia offerings. This collection of in-depth interviews aims to showcase the stories and insights of key optometric leaders who have not only influenced our profession through their editorship at the esteemed Review of Presbyopia and the Aging Eye but who have also left an indelible mark on the fabric of our community.

Through this series of interviews, we aim to bring you closer to the personal journeys, professional milestones, and philosophical underpinnings that have shaped optometry today. This video celebrates the illustrious career of Dr. Murray Fingeret, OD, FAAO, whose dedication and innovation have illuminated paths for both practitioners and patients alike. Join us as we explore the narratives that weave the rich tapestry of optometric life, offering inspiration and guidance for our collective advancement.

In the ever-evolving world of optometry, few names command as much respect and admiration as Dr. Murray Fingeret. As a distinguished figure who has shaped the practice of glaucoma treatment, Dr. Fingeret’s journey is not just one of professional triumphs but also of profound influence on the optometric community.

Dr. Fingeret’s initial leap into the limelight came with his involvement in the development of visual field and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) diagnostics. This groundbreaking work revolutionized our understanding of glaucoma, allowing for early and accurate diagnoses, and more importantly, enabling tailored treatment plans. His contributions in these areas have been pivotal in preserving vision and enhancing patient care.

Perhaps one of Dr. Fingeret’s most significant impacts lies in his educational endeavors. By developing educational programs for glaucoma care, he has not only raised awareness but also equipped countless professionals with the knowledge to combat this multifaceted disease aggressively. His role in bridging the gap between optometry and ophthalmology, through world-class meetings and collaborative efforts, has fostered a unified approach to eye care.

Dr. Fingeret’s candidness and integrity are legendary. His willingness to speak the truth, irrespective of the audience, has earned him the reputation of a gatekeeper of honesty within the industry. This was most notably demonstrated at a key board meeting, where he boldly called out inconsistencies in a snappy Murray tone, challenging the speaker and embodying the kind of leadership that prioritizes bold honesty over comfort, and many “oh my goodness” laughs.

Beyond his clinical expertise, Dr. Fingeret’s influence extends to the realm of industry leadership. His decisions, often marked by a blend of professional judgment and personal integrity, have significantly impacted how Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) interact with industry giants. His taking a stand at a major national meeting dinner, where he led a walkout in protest of misrepresented intentions, speaks volumes of his commitment to genuine and meaningful engagements.

Dr. Fingeret’s personality is as impactful as his professional pursuits. His contagious laugh and ability to bring levity to the most tense situations is his unique way of fostering camaraderie among peers. His leadership style, marked by humor and genuine care, has created a sense of unity and shared purpose within the optometric community. He has earned the respect and love of so many especially the “Rat Pack” (now the Alpha Omega Group), which I will not have room to discuss until a future editorial.

One of Dr. Fingeret’s crowning achievements is the founding of the Optometric Glaucoma Society. This organization, born from his vision and collaborative spirit, has become a beacon for optometric excellence, particularly in glaucoma care. The society’s meetings, regarded as the most prestigious in the optometric world, are a testament to his enduring legacy in shaping the landscape of eye care.

On a personal note, my journey in optometry has been profoundly influenced by Dr. Fingeret. From my first lecture opportunity at the Academy of Optometry with Murray and Lou Catania, guided by his mentorship, to the invaluable insights gained through our interactions, his impact on my career has been immeasurable. He stands as a mentor, a colleague, and a friend, embodying the ideals of professionalism, expertise, and humanity. His devotion to his amazing wife Janet and son Stuart is a testament to balancing family and career. What most people don’t know is Murray has attended more than 300 Grateful Dead concerts, and he usually invites colleagues to join him in the celebration. (My seats were great. Thanks Bruce!)

In conclusion, Dr. Murray Fingeret’s contributions to the field of optometry extend far beyond his clinical and educational achievements. His leadership, integrity, and ability to inspire and unite professionals have left an indelible mark on the field. As we continue to navigate the complexities of eye care, his legacy serves as a guiding light, inspiring current and future generations of optometrists to strive for excellence, innovation, and compassionate care.

Jack L. Schaeffer, OD, FAAO


  • Jack L. Schaeffer, OD, FAAO, Chief Clinical Editor

    Dr. Schaeffer is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. He practiced in Birmingham, Alabama, where he was also president of an 18-location group practice and a refractive laser center. Dr. Schaeffer lectures internationally and serves on many industry boards and advisory panels. He is involved with many clinical studies on contact lenses, pharmaceuticals, and equipment. He has recently authored a miniseries on the history of contact lenses and the contact lens specialty practice. He was an Executive Associate Editor of the International Contact Lens Leadership Summit and the developer and Editor of the series, Optometry Scene. Dr. Schaeffer also served as Chairman of the Contact Lens and Cornea Section of the American Optometric Society. He served as board member and fundraising chairman for Optometry Cares: The AOA Foundation and the GPLI Institute. Dr. Schaeffer is on the College of Charleston School of Business Board of Governors. Dr. Schaeffer is involved in multiple community, charitable, and political organizations in Alabama and South Carolina.

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