Degree Awarded: O.D.

Graduation Year: 2016

Update: I purchased an established private practice in Albertville, Alabama in August 2017 from Dr. Randall Hoerth, who has since retired. We have a diverse patient base that allows me to see all ages, manage a variety of eye disease, co-manage with specialists as well as fit specialty contacts. In the spring of this year I added a partner, Dr. Katie Greer (UABSO '17) and opened a second office in Guntersville on July 2nd.

What happened at UABSO to best prepare you for your career?
There were so many aspects of being at student at UABSO that helped prepare me. The small clinic groups and class size really gave me an opportunity to feel comfortable asking questions and seeking advice, which promoted a deeper understanding. Clinical rotations, such as CEC and trips to nursing homes, helped me develop skills outside of the traditional clinic setting that I use daily in practice. Also, many of the clubs at UABSO further prepared me such as the private practice club, which introduced many of the resources I utilize now, and SVOSH, which provided experiences that have enabled me to organize and lead optometric outreaches today. 

Who were the faculty members that helped guide you? How? 
Dr. Mark Swanson was probably the most influential instructor I had at UAB. In the Ocular Disease clinic he would really challenge our understanding to make sure we knew the “why” behind any testing or treatment. I use information and tools that I learned from his rotation daily when it comes to making treatment decisions. Other instructors that helped establish my foundation for optometric practice include Drs. Beth Steele and Caroline Pate. Drs. Whitaker and Schifanella taught me very valuable practical lessons during my externship at the Tuscaloosa VA. And of course Dr. Jim Marbourg, who made introductions for me that, not only provided me a job right out of school, but also set me on the path for practice ownership. 

What has surprised you the most about your career so far?
Honestly, the most surprising thing to me about my career has been how deep a doctor - patient relationship may become. Something that was appealing to me about optometry as a profession was the patient interaction, but I didn’t anticipate some of the difficult discussions that have come up. Whether it’s comforting a widow after the sudden loss of a spouse or hearing a beloved patient tell you about his recent cancer diagnosis, there are unexpected and difficult conversations that come up when a patient is in the exam chair. This aspect of my career is not one I could have anticipated or prepared for, but it has been very rewarding personally. 

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I really want to go to Peru! I enjoy spending time outdoors and hiking with my husband, so the thought of hiking Machu Picchu just seems so fun! 

What is something that few people know about you?
It’s so silly, but my fantasy dream job is to become a puppeteer on Sesame Street!