Gedalya Shindler came on Aliya from London, UK, in the Summer of 2015. He graduated from the prestigious optometric department of The City University, London in 2005 and was fortunate to immediately secure a training position at Miltons Eyecare, a specialist Optometric Clinic based in Hampstead, London. He was elected a Member of the College of Optometrists in January 2007, became an accredited Member of The British Association of Behavioural Optometrists (BABO) in March 2011, as well as an Associate of the Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPf). He was also a Member of The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA).
Miltons Eyecare has a close relationship with the local Royal Free Hospital and from the commencement of employment Gedalya was involved in high level optometry, especially contact lenses. He was mentored by David Harrisberg, who had been fitting customised lenses in the hospital for 30 years, and soon was sending Gedalya cases to care for. In the private practice, David was often booked for over 2 months in advance, so if there was a patient with an urgent problem they were often booked to see Gedalya, hence a large proportion of his early cases involved complex problem solving. When his external assessor arrived for the first assessment following 3 months of practice, she declared he had already met the contact lens requirements for the entire year! After 5 years of working at Miltons, Gedalya was given the prestigious responsibility of sharing the hospital contact lens clinic on alternate weeks with David, which was a reflection of his progress in fitting the widest range of contact lens modalities available, mainly for a corneal condition known as keratoconus. He continued this until his Aliya.
Prior to coming on Aliya, Gedalya secured a teaching role at Hadassah College in Jerusalem, one of 2 Higher Learning establishments in Israel which train Israeli Optometrists. On Monday afternoons, he instructs and supervises 3rd year students in contact lens fitting techniques.
Behavioural Optometry/Vision Therapy
Gedalya became interested in the fascinating discipline of Behavioural Optometry shortly following qualification; he found that "classical" optometry frustratingly did not provide the answers to many of the needs of his patients. He attended his first BABO run course in 2009 and never looked back. By 2011 he had become a fully accredited member of BABO, having studied under the prominent British Behavioural Optometrists, Paul Adler and the late Keith Holland. He continued to attend courses (usually twice a year) from world famous names in Behavioural Optometry such as Caroline Hurst, Paul Harris, Rob Lewis, Greg Kitchener and Carl Hillier, which helped to forge his own path in understanding Behavioural Optometry, combining ideas garnered from all these diverse sources. There is no one currently practising in Israel who has followed an identical path, hence Gedalya hopes to offer new insights into the Israeli market. Gedalya conducts the majority of his own vision therapy, and is always searching for ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the programmes.
In 2012, Gedalya was approached by his mentor Paul Adler to conduct Behavioural Optometric Assessments one day a week at his busy practice, which was a ringing endorsement of the esteem in which he was held since he was handpicked from all the British trained Behavioural Optometrists (Paul was involved in the training of them all). In this setting, Gedalya was not required to conduct the therapy himself, as there was a trained therapist who executed the therapy programmes. However, it forced Gedalya to organise his thoughts as to precisely which ingredients are essential to ensure a successful outcome for therapy.
Behavioural Optometry excites Gedalya as it provides an opportunity to help patients to realise their potential. This is especially true for childen, where timely intervention could dramatically alter the course of their life! The results of therapy are felt way beyond the confines of the consulting room, improving so many aspects of their life. Watching young people improve their skills and grow in confidence over a relatively short period is extremely satisfying.
ABOUT Gedalya Shindler BSc (Hons) MCOptom
Vision Therapy and Contact Lens Centre