Ophthalmologist — Iowa Eye Center
Explain your career path
I completed medical school at the University of Missouri - Columbia and later a residency in ophthalmology at the University of Iowa. I now work in private practice at Iowa Eye Center in Cedar Rapids, IA.
What was your major at Southeast and how would you characterize the quality of that program to prospective students?
I majored in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis on Biology, Chemistry, and Music
Why did you choose to attend Southeast?
I chose Southeast because my father was an alumni and stayed involved with the University. I am from Kennett, MO and I had many great experiences on the campus as a youth through school programs and other youth programs. I know I wanted to go to medical school and Southeast had an excellent medical school acceptance rate.
Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?
Dr. Lilly and Dr. Gathman were excellent biology teachers. Years later in medical school I felt well-ahead of my classmates in the basics of biology and genetics. I was also heavily involved in the music department which gave me what I consider a very well-rounded education.
Share your best college memory.
I was an active member of Alpha Phi Omega which is a national service fraternity. We made serving others fun and I still believe that when you take the time to help other people, you gain much more that what you give. I made some great life-long friends in that organization.
If you were in Greek Life, the Honors Program or any other student organization, please tell us about that experience and how it impacted you.
I am a part owner of Iowa Eye Center. We have over 60 employees. We provide a great work environment and benefits for our employees. By focusing on our employees and our office environment, we are able to produce a higher quality product for our patients. I enjoy being a small business owner and making that kind of impact.
What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?
I learned the importance of having a balanced lifestyle. There is a lot of burnout in medicine. In general, the medical community is more disconnected than ever before and working harder than ever before. Southeast taught me the value in being a part of a community, providing service to others, being a leader, and living a well-rounded life. I now have a wife and 2 kids and that balance is important to us.
Describe Southeast in three words.
Valuable personal growth
What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
Medicine is a great field as long as you are passionate about the type of medicine you practice. I have always found eye surgery interesting and academically challenging. People really value their vision. Many patients tell me it is their most vital sense. To be able to provide care for something so important to people is a powerful thing. Too many people choose a career path that they enjoy but the demand for the service or product is not needed. Healthcare in general is something we all need.