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Abby and Paige Small OD '19: Fourth-generation Doctors of Optometry Return to Run Family Business

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Abby and Paige Small OD '19: Fourth-generation Doctors of Optometry Return to Run Family Business

After four years of classes, lectures, and clinical rotations, sisters Abby and Paige Small graduated from MCPHS’s Doctor of Optometry (OD) program—but their interest in protecting patients’ vision began long before they ever stepped onto the University’s Worcester campus.

In 1921, Abby and Paige’s great grandfather opened Family Eye Care in Caribou, Maine. The practice continues to be owned and operated by the Small family, and earlier this year they welcomed two new employees who already knew their way around the place.

Abby and Paige grew up watching their parents provide quality and compassionate care to the Aroostook County community, and they knew that one day they wanted to do the same. Although they took different paths for their undergraduate education—Abby graduated from the University of New England with a degree in medical biology and sociology, while Paige studied biology at University of Maine in Orono—they reunited to pursue a Doctor of Optometry degree at MCPHS.

“My rotations through the University’s Eye and Vision Center, community health centers, and veterans’ hospitals exposed me to a lot of serious ocular diseases and involved me in high-level diagnostic and treatment decision-making,” Abby says. “I reflect fondly on the people that taught me and the co-curricular experiences that enhanced my education.”

Now, Abby (27) and Paige (25) have returned to Caribou (the family also owns a location in Presque Isle) to operate their family’s practice as fourth-generation optometrists. They’re already using their MCPHS education to deliver compassionate healthcare to their local community, including their work with the “InfantSEE” program, which provides children with their first eye exam, free of charge.

The Small family also continues to play an important role in the School of Optometry: their two locations served as a fourth-year externship, and they hope to offer more spots in the future.


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