The 2017 Annual Meeting may be over, but there’s still so much to talk about! For the newest Fellows and COVTs who earned their certifications this year, this past Meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, is sure to be one that they never forget.
In order to continue to honor their outstanding effort and commitment, we reached out to each of these newly-certified optometrists and vision therapists to bring you the “WHY” (and how and where!) of their certification process. This week is Dr. Kacie Monroe!
Where are you now?
- Where do you practice/work?
I work at Dr. Fitzgerald & Associates in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Our vision therapy clinic is called Cedar Rapids Vision in Motion. Altogether we have 10,000 square feet where we provide primary care optometric services, vision therapy, low vision services, and sports vision training. Our website is www.docfitzgerald.com, and we are on Facebook too!
How did you get involved with VT?
- How did you grow that interest/practice?
While in optometry school at Indiana University, I was fortunate enough to have an externship at with Dr. Dan Bowersox at Bowersox Vision Center in Shelbyville, Kentucky. I watched first-hand as kids and adults had their lives changed through vision therapy. I knew I wanted to be involved, so Dr. Bowersox encouraged me to sign up for Dr. Bob Sanet’s seminars in San Diego. I started the classes in my fourth year of optometry school, and it further cemented my passion for vision therapy. I was fortunate enough to meet Dr. DeAnn Fitzgerald, an Iowa optometrist who was already offering therapy at her office. An Iowan myself, I accepted a position at her office after I graduated from Indiana University.
- What made you decide to pursue certification through COVD?
I think certification is an important process for all optometrists and therapists who participate in therapy. It provides legitimacy and recognition for our specialty. I knew other doctors who went through the process said they learned a lot as well, which was definitely true for me.
- What was your biggest hurdle in the certification process?
For me, the biggest hurdle was time. Juggling a family with two young kids and my career while completing the process was somewhat challenging. I found it best to schedule a time each week that I went to a local coffee shop to read, study, and write.
What have you learned?
I think the process has helped me develop my “why” for therapy. I have felt pretty comfortable with the protocols and tasks we use in therapy, and our patients have been very successful. Researching and writing the papers and the feedback from my mentor, Dr. Curt Baxstrom, has helped me understand why these things work.
It’s not just about patient care, what else matters most to you in your practice/career?
I think those of us in vision therapy/developmental optometry are a small but mighty group. I hope to educate other colleagues on the importance of therapy, and help others learn how therapy can help their patients.
What’s next for you?
I am lecturing at Colorado Vision Summit next month, and hope to continue to attend meetings to further my knowledge. I am specifically interested in courses about syntonics, infant vision and evaluation, and primitive reflexes.
There’s more to life than vision care…
- What other things are important to you?
I love to spend time with my husband and my two kids (age 3 and 6). We are dog lovers, currently looking for the perfect furry friend to join our family. I enjoy cheering for the Iowa Hawkeyes and working on crochet projects.
Thank you to Dr. Monroe for sharing her certification story with us! Our certification programs are always accepting new applicants and you could be next!