Dr. Keshia Elder graduated from UABSO in 1998 with her Doctorate of Optometry and her Master of Science in Vision Science.  After graduation, Dr. Elder served five years in the Medical Service Corps in the United States Navy. She’s held several academic positions prior to rejoining the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry.  At the UAB School of Optometry, Dr. Elder teaches in the Clinical Management Course.  In addition, she is the Director of the Externship Program and the Primary Care Clinic Service Director.  Her research interests include the effect of various contact lens materials and corneal surgeries on dry eye syndrome and health disparities related to primary eye care.

Describe yourself in 3 words. Caring, dedicated and fair.

If you could give one piece of advice to incoming/current students, what would it be? Treat school like your fulltime job. Make it a priority for the next four years so that you can enjoy a fulfilling career later.

Why did you become an optometrist? I wanted to work in a field that I could help improve the quality of life of my patients.




Why did you enter the field of education?  It's in my genes. My parents were elementary school teachers and my undergraduate degree from Clemson University is in Science Teaching: Mathematics. It's one of the best ways I can make a direct impact on my profession. I find joy in seeing my former students and mentees excel in Optometry.

If you could choose one superhero power, what would it be and why? I would love to be able to remember everything that I have learned. Our field changes and expands so rapidly that it is challenging to stay up to date in every aspect of Optometry.

Is there anything about you that your students or other faculty may not know? I am an introvert.

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment outside of the field of Optometry? Raising two kind, smart and loving children.  This is still a work in progress.