Michael Merry, O.D., FAAO
From Dairy to Dry Eyes
Born to dairy farmers in a
small, rural town just outside of Eerie, Pennsylvania, the world of
medicine was a far cry from Michael Merry’s beginnings.
A seemingly misplaced first step on the path towards becoming a doctor,
the fundamentals he learned on the farm set the groundwork necessary to
succeed not only in life, but also in the demanding world of medicine.
Adhering to a daily routine on the farm instilled the importance of
consistency in Michael and helped him understand the value of a solid
work ethic. It was this same work ethic and determination that would
later lead him through school.
Michael left the farm as soon as he could drive and took up a job at a
local ski resort working as a hotel bellman and ski repair technician.
He spent his time there falling in love with nature, riding his bike
everywhere he could, and finely tuning his snowboarding skills on the
It was during this time that
he met one of his friends’ older brothers who happened to be an
optometrist. He raved about the job and encouraged Michael to think
about pursuing a similar track someday. Driven by the excitement he saw
in his friend’s older brother, he decided to do just that.
When Michael turned 18, he left his hometown of Wattsburg, and set off
for Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he majored in natural
sciences. Relying on his keen ability to focus, which he learned at the
dairy farm, Michael sailed through college, set on the goal of becoming
an optometrist. After graduation he was accepted to Pennsylvania College
of Optometry and completed his schooling afew years later.
Michael took up his first job as an eye doctor in Baltimore, Maryland,
but quickly realized that Baltimore wasn’t at all where he wanted to
live. He decided instead to join his friend in California, crash on his
couch, and work as a river raft guide in Coloma until his ideal job
opened up. When it didn’t, he moved to Sacramento and worked there for 2
½ years while still keeping his eyes open to any opportunities further
north. Eventually, in 2014, he found a job posting on Berkeley
Optometry’s website for an optometrist in Chico. He called on the
posting and spoke to Dr. Anthony Rudick, one of the owners of North
Valley Eye Care and Ridge Eye Care. The position was a perfect fit.
Within a few weeks, he broke his lease, quit his job in Sacramento, and
moved to Chico. He’s been here since.
Since his arrival in Chico, Dr. Merry has focused on comprehensive
optometry, as well as management of ocular disease, glaucoma, macular
degeneration, cataracts, and dry eye. As he is quick to note, dry eye is
a huge issue in the northern valley and a large majority of the patients
he sees suffer from it to some degree. He, of course, is happy to help
and derives his feeling of success from easing his patients’ symptoms.
When Dr. Merry isn’t working at North Valley Eye Care or Ridge Eye Care,
he’s doing what he loves best—spending time interacting with nature.
Whether he’s snowboarding in the backcountry, kayaking down one of our
area’s beautiful rivers, mountain biking in Upper Park, or spending time
with his miniature Australian Shepherd, Dr. Merry is certain that he
made the right decision in moving to Chico. We are certainly glad that