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It was a Saturday morning in the late summer, just before the beginning of school. That time of year in every family practice, when the schedule is packed with kids, whose parents, overwhelmed with bored little ones and last summer trips, are eager to cross one more thing off their back-to-school preparedness list. That time of the year when the doctor wishes she had remembered to take a vacation but is nonetheless determined to get through the day with her wits intact and her patience unruffled.

Dr. Kane walked in promptly at 9:50 and was relieved to see that her tech, having arrived early, had already turned on the acuity screens and prepped the day’s charts. There was a harried young woman with three boys under the age of six, sitting in the waiting room, trying to fill out a questionnaire, while her sons performed death-defying acrobatic feats for the entertainment of the optician who appeared to be praying for their (or his own) survival. Dr. Kane glanced at the schedule and noted that the ten o’clock was a new patient. There was a comment stating, “Pt. requests her boys also be seen for their annual eye exams today– very hard for her to come back on a different day.”  Sure, thought Dr. Kane, the day is young, the kids look healthy, let’s bang these out – and proceeded to invite the family into exam room 1. 

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Viola Kanevsky
Associate Editor, Just For Fun Editorial for odsonfb.com. Viola Kanevsky is a pediatric optometrist specializing in custom contact lenses, who has practiced on the Upper West Side of New York City for almost 25 years. An émigré from the former Soviet Union, Dr. Kanevsky lived in Netanya, Brussels, and Miami, until her family settled in New York City in 1979. She earned a BS from Pace University and a Doctorate from SUNY State College of Optometry. She is the Secretary of the New York State Optometric Association board; a board member of the Optometric Society of the City of New York; President of her residential coop for 10 years; she is vice president of the board of the Interschool Orchestras of New York, an organization dedicated to providing musical education to children regardless of ability to pay; serves as Trustee on the board of the Ilya and Emilia Kabakov Foundation and as such, produces benefit concerts for the Ship of Tolerance, an international art project whose goal is to promote tolerance amongst children of differing cultures; she serves on the parent advisory committee of Concerts in Motion, an organization that brings concerts and music therapy to homebound individuals, and is the treasurer of the NY chapter of Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH). Dr. Kanevsky also volunteers for the New York Youth Symphony and travels to orphanages in Peru on medical missions.