WSD14 Dr Kirschbaum with Patient

A Lifetime of Inspiration

By Stephanie Kirschbaum, OD July 12, 2016

We experience uniquely great things about our profession: my favorite being the significant impact we have on a person's health, visual happiness, and ultimately, his or her quality of life. Day-to-day we experience the gratitude and appreciation of our patients and their confidence in us—all of which inspires us to continue on our path of professional optometry.

Multiply that feeling times 100 and you get the thankfulness and awe of helping patients who don't ordinarily have access to eye care services. Even though it was long ago, volunteering on a vision screening trip to the Dominican Republic provided a lifetime of inspiration for me. From that trip, I have a lifelong amazement of others' fortitude: my colleagues' dedication to caring for HUNDREDS while enduring extreme conditions, and the patients who endured DAYS of walking to our site so they could receive eyecare and glasses.

Recent and local volunteer opportunities help keep my passion for individualized care alive and useful in daily practice; the myriad of stories, predicaments, conditions, solutions, and personalities are enlightening. Volunteering with the VSP Mobile Clinic has been tremendously rewarding and inspiring because not only am I part of helping so many, I’m part of a team of experts that lovingly, efficiently touch peoples' lives. Veterans, children, victims of natural disaster, homeless, and uninsured are not only receiving access to eye care, but in most cases are leaving with a new pair of glasses as well.

Many cities host ambulatory clinic events every year and vision care is part of the medical service provided. The depth of gratitude is astoundingly moving. As I see it, I’m inspired to be the best optometrist I can be when patients reflect the importance of vision care and eye health examinations.

What continues to inspire you in this profession? Leave a comment and share your story. 

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