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    Q&A: Katherine Schuetz, OD Optometrist at Little Eyes, Carmel, IN

    Pediatric optometry, daily disposables, and napping

     

    What got you started in optometry leadership, and what keeps you engaged?

    My passion for the profession. I really do think we have such a fabulous job. I like to lead but not be the leader. [Laughs] The leader is wonderful, but there is a lot of responsibility on that shoulder. I know my personal limit, so I’m careful to help but not be. I encourage those who do, and I will certainly help on a multitude of projects, whether it’s my local society or the state optometric association. I believe in the value, and I appreciate the folks who devote hours and hours of their time to bettering our profession. I’m a member-director of EyeDoc. I feel that anything we can do to help private practice docs make it in the competitive world is a great thing. I like to have a balanced work/life schedule, and I work hard to maintain that. I know that if I try to do some of the other leadership things that I will lose my ability for say, napping [laughs], and that’s not a good deal for me at the moment.

    What got you involved in the global myopia problem?

    There’s a huge, huge amount of folks in the Asian population who are myopic. Because we see such a large portion of the myopes in central Indiana who are pediatric, you start looking into ways that you can help people. For my whole career, it’s been glasses and contact lenses, which it still is for the most part, but I can look at worldwide trends and ask how I can help my little piece of the world not become so myopic and learn more and do better for them. We do our part in myopia prevention from Indianapolis.

    Related: William To, 2016 Doctor of Optometry Candidate, Western University of Health Sciences

    What’s something you would change about optometry as it stands now?

    I live in a happy bubble, I gotta be honest, I don’t have a whole lot. [Laughs] Certainly I would change the commoditization of contact lenses and glasses. That’s a challenge for every single type of practitioner whether they’re practicing in Walmart or private practice. The more things available online devalues what we’re doing in our offices, and it’s a shame. I don’t know that we can change it, but it’s too bad the trend is going that direction.

    What’s your guilty pleasure food?

    I have a horrendous sweet tooth. During our CooperVision Best Practices photo shoot, we took a group photo with doughnuts. Like, that’s how we roll here. [Laughs]

    What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

    Honestly, the riskiest thing I’ve ever done was opening Little Eyes because nobody does primary-care pediatrics, that’s crazy. You have to have vision therapy or be part of an ophthalmology practice or surgery. The first day was really busy, it was wonderful. Then a few weeks after that, oh, the crickets were chirping for sure, but it was ok. We were able to figure out our different roles in the office and go through our staffing placement to make that as perfect as possible. Don’t be afraid to open cold because it gives you the time to figure it out the right way and not in front of a whole bunch of patients who are seeing you do it wrong.

    Read more Optometry Times Q&A interviews here

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