Irwin Suchoff, OD
The first words that come to mind are kind, caring, gentle, and always curious. As a student I would hear lectures about dyslexia, and visual perception. Learning the finer details concerning the significance of sequential and simultaneous processing. As a resident, working side by side with him, I would see these theories in practice, especially in the head trauma/acquired brain injury population. It was during these times, where the management of visual perceptual deficits became clearer. He helped this more structural person see the neurological basis of these deficits. As a colleague, I was always amazed by the depth of his intellectual curiosity. He continually researched, published, and created more computer therapy programs even after he retired! Sid would theorize that concepts such as random automatized naming (RAN) and subitizing are relevant when managing specific visual perceptual deficits. Dr. Sidney Groffman, you were a light in my life and to so many others. Thank you for being such a blessing! May I pass that to others in the same manner!
M.H. Esther Han, OD
Sid Groffman was a smiling face. He was humble, affable and well read. Sid wore various hats, and he made many contributions to Optometry, especially in the area of visual perception. We frequently had lunch together at the 43rd Street Café of the Grace Building. Our conversation ranged from the COVD Journal to his son, who was a rabbi outside of Poughkeepsie to the New York Mets. As part of SUNY yearly credentialing process, one would have to secure a letter from a colleague. Sid must have liked mine for each year he would ask me to write one for him.
He got the same letter each year with only the date changed.
He would still get that glowing endorsement.
God Bless you Sid.
David E. FitzGerald, OD
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Sidney Groffman was an optometric visionary who started off many of his writings with a quote. As a student at SUNY, I was fortunate enough to hear Dr. Groffman lecture in some classes and to work with him in clinic. He was such a modest person that I did not realize that he was “the” Groffman of the Groffman visual tracing task or that he was instrumental in developing some computerized visual perceptual testing. When I was on faculty at SUNY, I learned a lot about visual perception from consulting with him regarding my more challenging patients. I was amazed at his accurate predictions about perceptual test results after hearing the patient’s history or symptoms and I followed his recommendations for treatment. I, like Piglet, have a small heart that is filled with a large amount of gratitude for what Dr. Groffman gave to optometry.
Marie Bodack, OD
In this world there are givers and there are takers. Sid Groffman was the consummate giver. His passions were his family, his religion and his profession, and to each he brought wisdom, compassion and a level of kindness not often seen. I knew Sid for over 50 years and to me he represented the best in optometry. The world would be a far better place if there were more Sid Groffmans.
Israel Greenwald, OD
Like many others, what I will remember most fondly about Sid is his sense of humor and constant smile. He had a way of making me feel comfortable while learning new aspects of perceptual testing and therapy that was just what I needed when starting my residency. My favorite memory comes from one such day in perceptual testing, when we both arrived as usual with coffee in hand. Sid’s was always—always!—straight black coffee, and he let me know in no uncertain terms just what he thought about my strange flavors and use of milk. This particular day, the flavor of choice from the local shop was blueberry. Yes, blueberry! Of all flavors, bound to send Sid into loud exclamations about my horrible taste. During his expounding on my lack of understanding about the “proper” way to drink coffee (and amidst much laughter), his sweeping gesture caught his own cup, sending it flying off the table and onto the floor, which at the time was still carpeted. Without missing a beat, Sid queried, looking at the spill soaking into the rug, “What do YOU see in the coffee blot?” The Rorschach Coffee Blot was born and became a joke between us from then on. Sid, the truth is—spilled coffee now can only make me smile, since it makes me think of you. God bless; you will be missed.
Pam Schnell, OD
I was a little star-struck meeting Dr. Groffman the first time (“Wait, is this Groffman Tracing Dr. Groffman? Dr. Groffman from the computer perceptual therapy?!?”) He drew in everyone he met with his twinkling blue eyes, easy smile, and infectious laughter. If a person can be said to have a hallmark, his was compassion. He saw a diagnosis, with all its implications, and then dug deeper to understand the needs and talents of the individual who carried that diagnosis. He was a fierce advocate of appropriate education for all; his patients knew they were never too old to go back and try to earn their GED or start a new training program because their Dr. Groffman told them that if they had the right support and were willing to work, they could succeed. Dr. Groffman advocated not just for second chances, but for third, fourth, and fifth. He guided my understanding of the gifts and challenges we each are given. He helped me visualize and empathize with the daily struggle of a child who interacts with his world from a unique perspective. I am a better, more compassionate optometrist, friend, person, because of Dr. Groffman.
Audra Steiner, OD
Sid Groffman contributed so much to this great profession of ours, well beyond the test that bears his name. His early work writing manuals for Keystone on the Brock Stereo Motivator and helping to make Brock’s work understandable by the masses would have been enough. But then he went on to distinguish himself as a clinician, a professor, a researcher and a writer. His work on Vision Information Processing is possibly what he is best known for. However, every aspect of our profession has been enriched by his having been an optometrist. We will miss you Sid.
Paul Harris, OD
Here is a link to Dr. Groffman's last publication with OVP.