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, we bring you Dr. Katie Davis, FCOVD’s story!
Where are you now?
- Where do you practice/work?
During the FCOVD certification process, I practiced at the Draisin Vision Group in Charleston, SC. This June, I joined the Vision Therapy Institute in Columbia, SC. During my time at the Draisin Vision Group, I was responsible for overseeing all the vision therapy care, programming, and vision therapists. This comprehensive, intensive exposure to vision therapy and vision-therapy-related exams created a foundation to integrate the knowledge and insights gained from preparing for my Fellowship.
How did you get involved with VT?
I became interested in pediatric care while receiving my OD at the Illinois College of Optometry. I worked in the pediatrics department and took on extra clinic time in Chicago Public Schools program and in the pediatrics/vision therapy department. My interest in developmental optometry began during my externship rotation at the Draisin Vision Group. The close doctor/patient relationships that develop with VT patients was, for me, one of the most fulfilling aspects of practicing optometry. Getting a taste of the creative and critical thinking needed to help these patients made it clear that I had found the right path. This path would allow me to enjoy a career requiring a life-long pursuit of education, while also providing a needed service to my community. I am a bit of a continuing education junkie; during my first three years as an OD, I attended about three-hundred hours of extra education in VT-related education (including the mind-expanding Sanet Seminars).
- What made you decide to pursue certification through COVD?
There was never a decision to be made! I knew that the Fellowship process was an integral part of my professional development and professional community service.
- What was your biggest hurdle in the certification process? How did you overcome that hurdle?
I found the “model of vision” open book question to be the most difficult to write, which meant it was the most important part of my growth. This OBQ required me to make multiple revisions and multiple patient reviews before submission. The exercise helped create a framework with which I am able to build my patient care philosophy.
What have you learned?
- How have you grown?
During FCOVD certification, I was impressed at the Fellowship committee’s ability to zero in on my areas of weakness and unclear thinking. This was one of the most important parts to my growth. The process allowed me to deepen my understanding of why things are done a certain way and helped me expand my resources to better help my patients. I have also brought more confidence to my patient care process. I am better able to explain my care rationale to patients and their families. Similarly, this improved communication has allowed me to be a better teacher and coworker with the vision therapists and staff.
What else matters most to you in your career?
Optometric advocacy (including vision therapy advocacy!) is important to our profession. I have enjoyed participating the South Carolina Optometric Physician’s Association Leadership Institute and will be serving on our local optometric society’s board. Participating in continuing education opportunities are also important; I love being able to continue to expand my perspectives and abilities to provide comprehensive, integrative and holistic care.
What’s next for you?
I am still learning about developmental optometry with every patient interaction. Additionally, I hope to continue to grow my understanding of syntonic optometry.
There’s more to life than vision care…
- What other things are important to you?
Travel, active living and mindfulness! Physical and mental fitness are an indispensable part of being able to provide quality care in my personal and professional life. I enjoy clearing my mind and stress relief through running, biking, kayaking, yoga, barre, or weight lifting. My fiancé and I bought a house and are planning our wedding so that has been keeping me busy.
Thank you, Dr. Davis, for sharing your certification story with us!
Our certification programs are always accepting new applicants and you could be next!