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Sights Set On Job

Chautauqua Eye Care Welcomes New Optometrist

Pictured is Dr. Michael Landy, the newest optometrist at Chautauqua Eye Care. Landy is a Southwestern Central School graduate. P-J photo by Nikk Holland

Dr. Michael Landy is the newest optometrist at Chautauqua Eye Care.

Landy, a Southwestern Central School graduate, completed his undergraduate studies at the University at Buffalo, and graduated from Illinois College of Optometry in 2010. He has worked in the Jamestown area ever since.

Landy worked at Spectrum Eye Care for two years before transitioning to Community Eye Care Specialists, where he worked for seven years, before coming to Chautauqua Eye Care just recently.

“I knew I wanted to do optometry while I was still in high school,” Landy said, “so my education was really streamlined towards that (goal). I love my job and everything about giving eye exams.”

Landy initially thought he would follow his father’s footsteps and become an engineer since he had a passion for math and sciences. However, working in a cubicle didn’t appease his more social side.

“I thought, ‘I like math and sciences, so maybe engineering is where I should be,'” Landy said. “But in looking at him (his father), he went to work and was in a cubicle everyday, which is fine, but I kind of wanted to see more people than that.”

What drew Landy to optometry was an intersection of his love for math, science, gadgets and computers with his background in musicals and an overall love for making people smile and laugh. During an eye exam in high school, his optometrist recommended the profession, and it seemed to him a perfect combination of his two passions.

“I was thinking about all the eye exams I’ve been through,” Landy said. “It’s kind of like a 15 minute stand-up routine, but you get to play with math, science and all these fun gadgets, so I realized, ‘This is where those two things intersect.'”

After 10 years of experience, it’s clear to Landy that he found the career that suits him best.

“The actual work has become second nature,” Landy said. “I can do it in the back of my head while carrying on a conversation. So it’s really exciting getting to meet and interact with people. I fell in love with it early and it’s turned out to be the best job.”

Landy enjoys working in the community he grew up in since it perfectly combines his professional desires with his love for the area and staying in touch with his patients.

“It’s a lot of fun being back home in the area practicing,” Landy said. “Because that way, when you’re out (in the community) you run in to people you know.”

When he’s not working, Landy relishes time spent with his wife and three children with trips to the park, adventures and travelling. He also enjoys skiing, computers, and has recently dabbled in woodworking, but they all take a back seat to family time which is most important to him.

“Number one is family,” Landy said. “My parents, sister and brother-in-law and niece are all in tow n, and we hang out together as much as possible.”

Going forward, Landy believes this position at Chautauqua Eye Care, located at 548 W. Third St. in Jamestown, is the last one he will have before retiring.

“The last job I worked at was with satellite offices, and I carried a bag around with me to each office I went to,” Landy said. “I joked with the staff on my first day here and said, ‘Well, with any luck, the next time I take this bag out of the building will be the day I retire.’ As long as I can stay sharp enough on any future developments of the medical side of things, I’d be happy doing this forever.”

Landy isn’t oblivious to the larger role he has stepped into, either. Dr. Timothy Grace, the longtime optometrist at Chautauqua Eye Care who tragically passed away in 2019, was beloved and revered as a wonderful optometrist by many of his longtime patients. Living up to the standard of excellence that Dr. Grace set is something that Landy strives to do.

“From talking with all the people that knew (Dr. Grace), you can tell that he was an amazing doctor,” Landy said. “It’s nice to be able to try to live up to that. I’m competitive by nature, so it’s nice to have a legacy to try and live up to. In a way, I’m trying to continue the story and write the next chapter.”

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