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Husband and wife, ophthalmologist and tech
A Peace Corps assignment shaped 50-plus years of marriage.
BY LINDA GREENSEID
My husband David and I met at the University of Rochester in 1961 when he was a first-year medical student, and we married in 1965.
After his internship at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, he was assigned as a Peace Corps physician to British Honduras (now Belize) in the Public Health Service. David cared for the volunteers and ran clinics in the countryside. I came with him, and he taught me how to assist him since I had no medical background.
Little did I know that this training would help shape our lives together.
Years later, when David opened his ophthalmology practice at Eye Care PC near Boston, he asked me to work in the office. I was surprised at the request due to my lack of formal training, but David worried that running a practice would be time consuming and we wouldn’t see each other enough.
Despite friends’ warnings that we’d get sick of each other and divorce within six months, I accepted his offer. But, I had one condition: I had to work with and help patients.
David and Linda Greenseid, still in love after 50 years of marriage.
After the practice’s first year, we began seeing a steady flow of patients and hired full-time staff members. This gave me the opportunity to train as an ophthalmic technician. I completed courses from JCAHPO, becoming a certified ophthalmic assistant and then a certified ophthalmic technician.
I was careful to not become the proverbial “doctor’s wife,” so while we were equal partners at home, David was the boss in the office. If he asked me to get an instrument or a chart, I didn’t ask questions — the same as any other technician. David’s easygoing personality helped. He asked, never yelled, and he treated me and all other staff members with courtesy, respect, and understanding.
Still helping patients
We worked side by side for 23 years until I pursued other work. David retired in 2008, but we still volunteer once a week at Caridad Health Clinic in Florida. We work with uninsured, non-English speaking patients.
We also attend a yearly mission trip to El Salvador with a group of 50 volunteers, comprised of physicians, nurses, optometrists, ophthalmic technicians, and lay people. Together, we examine approximately 2,200 patients and perform about 125 surgeries in a week.
Secrets of our success
It’s difficult to say what life would have been like if I hadn’t joined David in the practice, but the experience clearly enriched our lives. Working together was never difficult. We never experienced a significant problem, and we love having shared experiences from that time together.
Last summer, we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. It’s been amazing to reach this milestone together, and it’s wonderful to still have opportunities to help people by using talents that we acquired along the way. OP
Linda Greenseid is a retired certifield ophthalmic technician and has been school board president of Cohen Hillel Academy and Gann Academy.