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CSO Fellowship Blog by Randy Schulman, O.D., FCOVD, FCSO

So you say why do a fellowship In syntonic optometry? You may already have a fellowship in another organization or maybe you feel like it is too daunting of a process. Or there may not seem to be the time to pursue anything other than patient care.
That is exactly the reason to do a fellowship! The patients!

I have dabbled in syntonics for nearly 20 years, using a hit or miss approach at worst or using it in spurts or just for certain types of patients. The more I did use photobiomodulation for my patients, the more improvements I saw and the faster my results in vision therapy.
I felt I owed it to my patients and myself to get serious about learning and understanding the why and how of syntonics so as to maximize my patients’ results and feel confident in my care utilizing syntonic light and filters.

I had read The Syntonic Principle years ago and had gone to a number of the Syntonics 101 and 102 classes. I had even taught students about syntonics. Still, I felt it was important to really take the time to look at the body of work as a whole, get clear on my own comprehension and review cases in an organized manner.

The fellowship process did just that. I read a chapter at a time in Spitler’s book, answering questions as I did, and reviewed all of my notes from previous classes and courses I took. I reviewed successful cases and not so successful cases to learn what worked and what did not.
I can honestly say I rarely look back to review cases but in doing so for the fellowship process I learned a great deal and can certainly use that knowledge to help future patients.

Writing up the cases was developmental in being able to identify what worked and where I could have done better.

One of the hardest things and what potentially stops people from embarking on the fellowship process is the final step, the dreaded oral interview. I cannot say I was not nervous, as I definitely was! Yet, despite feeling intimidated by having to back up my choices in patient care and my understanding of syntonic examination and treatment protocols, the interview was a critical element for my confidence in providing optometric phototherapy to my patients.

The interviewees were supportive and I even learned some things that I did not know that evening.

What I personally love best about the doctors offering syntonics to their patients is how engaged they are in continuous learning and how generous they are in educating others in this unique and growing field.

After over 30 years in practice each, Steve Curtis and I both received our fellowships in CSO this month and we look forward to many more colleagues of all levels of experience joining us in the future!