Your Story

What is your hometown?

My hometown is Henderson, Kentucky.

When did you graduate from UAB School of Optometry?

I am in the UABSO Class of 2008.

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment outside of the field of Optometry?

Easy!  Convincing (or was it duping?) Kim, the prettiest girl I’ve ever met, to marry me. Sixteen years and three kids later, I’ve still got the wool pulled over her eyes!

Your career in Optometry

Name of your employer(s)/practice and title, including location.

I am the owner of EyeCare Plus in Prattville, Alabama.

Why did you choose a career in Optometry?

Optometry offered everything I was looking for in a career.  It was both technical and medical, the perfect marriage of math and science; it offered opportunity to be my own boss; and it didn’t hurt that I’d been visiting the optometrist since the age of 8.

Where do you hope to see your optometric career in 5 years?

I hope to be continuing to run a thriving, full-scope, medically oriented optometric practice where we do our best to serve the eye health and visual needs of the good people in the River Region.

Which optometric issues concern you the most?

Every generation faces their own unique challenges.  Right now, I think two major things should have our attention.  First, the doctor-patient relationship is being continuously eroded by the intrusion of third party payors.  And second, the current business climate of private equity consolidation groups poses a potential challenge to both the landscape and the horizon of private practice optometry. 

Your UABSO Experience

What were your most memorable moments at UABSO?

On the not so fond side, I vividly recall a classmate not letting the alcohol on the tonometer tip dry while we were learning Goldmann tonometry.  My corneal nerves have never been the same!  But on the lighter side, listening to Dr. Norton sing “Psychophys-Sucks”, travelling in the school van to community health clinics listening to music with Bryan Holman on his new-fangled iPod gadget, and learning at the feet of optometric giants are memories that I won’t forget.

Who were your mentors at the School of Optometry? Why?

My most influential mentor in school, and to this day, is Dr. Jim Marbourg. I believe that when Dr. Marbourg got a look at me in clinic between my second and third years, he saw things in me that I didn’t see in myself. He challenged me to look at myself in a different light. And from that point, we developed a relationship that I’m proud to say lives on to the present day. He is the epitome of what a servant leader looks like. I hope to be like him when I grow up.

What is one piece of advice you would give current UABSO students?

UABSO is a wonderful school. The optometric education presented there is second-to-none.  However, the grind of school can wear you down. Don’t let the daily, weekly, or quarterly grind blind you to why you’re doing this in the first place. Your goal is not to be an optometry student. This is just a means to an end. Your goal is to be an optometrist.  Keep your sights set on that reality!

Fun Facts about You

What is something that few people know about you?

I can sing.  Most people don’t know that because I don’t tell them.  In fact, I’m not even sure why I’m telling you now!  In my experience, when people find out that you can sing, they immediately reply with, “Oooh, sing me something.”  Awkward!  And I never have fulfilled that request, so don’t ask.

If you could have a superpower what would it be?

Reading people’s minds.  That sounds fun.

If you were not an optometrist, what would you be?

No doubt in my mind, I would own a lawn care business.