Hi Connie, tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am an optometrist / owner of a private optometric practice for 30 years. I enjoy having coffee time with friends ☕️ , spending family time and my alone time to explore, shop and learn more about the world.
Can you tell us what you do as an Optometrist for those who are unfamiliar?
I am a health care professional eye doctor who performs eye exams, renders vision services, and provides treatment including optical goods and contact lenses.
How did you decide to pursue optometry?
When my family moved from Korea to the U.S., I visited an optometrist at Kaiser at the age of 13 for my itchy eyes. Since it was a clean setting and related to the health care field, it drew my interest immediately, and I never reconsidered any other field since then.
What programs & tools do you use everyday for work? What do you like/dislike about these programs?
For our medical charts, our office uses a program called Eyefinity.
Any advice on how to stand out and get into school for those starting off?
I recommend starting early to complete pre-requisite courses in your college years, gain experience and exposure to the field through internships, and prepare to apply and enter an optometry program by studying early for the OAT. For interviews, having prior exposure to optometrists/opticians will be helpful for questions that arise during interviews. Most importantly, be confident in yourself and be genuine in your responses.
What are 3 character traits that would make someone excel in your field?
1. Have great communication skills. As an optometrist, you'll have to be quick to listen and slow to speak when learning about your patient's needs. You'll have to be able to explain proper treatment options and recommendations in order to help out your patient effectively.
2. Be ready to wear multiple hats especially if you're planning to own your own practice.
3. Be genuine at serving, helping and caring for people.
Most satisfying & difficult thing about your job?
The most difficult thing is balancing taking care of business operations while juggling my primary job as an optometrist. It’s important to be a good team player even as an owner.
The most satisfying is when you know you have given your best professional service to help a patient's vision and knowing that you made a difference in their quality of life.
What would you like to say to your younger self?
Being focused and goal oriented is good, but don't forget to be curious and network with different professionals in various fields to expand and learn more about different life experiences.
Best advice you've received/heard?
Treat others how you want to be treated.