Those engaged in the happy profession of ophthalmic medical assisting are beginning to know Jan Ledford, COMT, as a premier writer of training material and texts. The Slit Lamp Primer, Second Edition is her fourteenth book for ophthalmic medical personnel (OMP), but she is probably best known for her first two review books: Certified Ophthalmic Assistant Exam Review Manual and Certified Ophthalmic Technician Exam Review Manual. She is also the co-author of The Crystal Clear Guide to Sight For Life, a lay-oriented book on all things ocular for people over 40.
In 1995, Jan was selected as the Series Editor of The Basic Bookshelf for Eyecare Professionals. She admits that she has a soft spot in her heart for OMP who are working their way through the ranks. “When I started in the field back in 1982, there was basically one published text for ophthalmic assistants,” she notes. “In The Basic Bookshelf, we have been able to go way beyond anything that’s been done before. The Series is full of grass-roots stuff; things you can use in the exam room and on certification exams. I wish this material had been available when I first started.”
Jan makes her home in Franklin, NC with her husband Jim (a Physician’s Assistant, PhD, and medical examiner) and son Collin. They have four cats, which she insists on at least mentioning since pictures are not allowed.
Val Sanders started her career in ophthalmology in 1979 as a tech (given 2 weeks’ “training”) for three doctors in Seattle, Wash. She read everything she could find in order to perfect her technical skills. The doctors she worked with believed that her advancement would benefit the practice, so they answered her innumerable questions and encouraged her to take continuing education programs, when available. In 1982, she took and passed the certification exam for ophthalmic technician. Two years later, she relocated to Georgia and joined a solo practice. She was soon promoted to clinical supervisor and played a part in the training of dozens of ophthalmic medical personnel as the practice grew.
In 1992, Val completed the certification as a retinal angiographer. Today, Val works as an administrator for a busy ophthalmology practice but still ventures into the lanes to stay in touch with the medical side of things. She assists in preparing presentations for staff, patients, and the ophthalmic community. In her off time, she can be found at home with the kids or working on the house.