Daniel Carson 1

Today’s doctors aren’t just tasked with patient care; they are links in an ever-connected chain of medicine and business. And as medicine evolves, so does business. In order to succeed in private practice, a doctor must think beyond the waiting room.

That’s why increasingly more medical students are choosing to enroll in business classes to bolster their understanding of how to run an effective practice.

Students like Daniel Cason.

A second-year student in the first of its kind OD/MBA program at UAB, Daniel is learning the fundamentals of business while pursuing his passion for eye care. The UAB OD/MBA program is unique in that it intersperses business classes between the challenging optometry curricula, meaning Daniel can apply what he learns in his business classes to enhance his optometry knowhow.

“[This semester], I’m in Supply Chain Management as part of my MBA. It’s exciting to be able to connect concepts from that class directly to my optometry classes,” Daniel says.

Daniel isn’t just learning business concepts; he’s also learning how to ask questions like how to modify his business concept and how particular concepts can benefit his practice. Simply understanding business terminology puts Daniel one step ahead, he says.

Outside of his classes, Daniel is a part of BlazerVision, an initiative started by UAB Athletics and the School of Optometry and Department of Ophthalmology to offer free comprehensive eye care including state-of-the-art concussion baseline testing for student athletes. He works closely with Collat alumna Kathy Weise, O.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.O, a pioneer in the introduction of the program, and is tasked with collecting and interpreting data for concussion detection and testing.

Daniel comes from a family of healthcare professionals. “My dad is a healthcare provider and has an independent practice,” he says. However, Daniel’s father had to “learn on the fly” how to be successful, he says.

Daniel knew from an early age that he wanted to go into medicine. He plans to start residency in ocular diseases, including cataracts and macular degeneration, after graduation. Like his father, Daniel hopes to one day build his own private practice or join a practice with other eye-care specialists. And he’ll be much closer to achieving those goals with his MBA degree.