Full Name: Stephanie L. Woo
Name of Practice: Contact Lens Institute of Nevada
Setting: Private Practice – Specialty Contact Lenses only
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Date of Birth: 6-28-85
High School Attended: Lake Havasu High School
College Attended: University of Arizona
Optometry School Attended: Southern California College of Optometry
Other Education: Cornea and Contact Lens Residency – University of Missouri
Tell us something interesting about yourself: I am a WSET Level 2 sommelier. I love wine and I have a collection of over 600 bottles.
Tell us about your family: I have a mom, dad, one sister, and a husband.
Tell us about your parent’s occupations: Father – MD and Mother – Nurse
Why did you choose optometry as a career? I wanted to go into medicine, but after shadowing many MDs, most of them said they would NOT do it again. I also looked into dentistry, podiatry, PA, etc, but I always liked visiting the eye doctor each year, and when I got to shadow him, I realized there was so much more to optometry than glasses and contacts!
What aspects of your professional life do you find most rewarding? I love specialty contact lenses, so being able to help those patients is extremely rewarding. I also really enjoy lecturing and teaching other ODs – I originally wanted to be a teacher when I was in college, so in a way, I still get to be a teacher, yet also an optometrist!
What aspects of your professional life do you find least rewarding? I think constantly having to keep up with the ever-changing world of how eye care, glasses, and contacts are delivered to patients can oftentimes be stressful.
How did you end up working where you are now? After doing a bit of soul searching, I realized that my true passion within optometry is specialty contact lenses. And I asked myself, “If I could build my dream practice, what would that look like?” The answer to that was – specialty contact lenses ONLY. No primary care, no optical. Just full dedication to custom contact lenses. I sold my other 3 private practices in Arizona and California and made the move to Las Vegas to serve more patients. Hopefully, it will someday become an international center for specialty contact lens needs!
What professional conferences do you like best? For smaller meetings, I love the Global Specialty Lens Symposium in January and the Glaucoma Meeting in Southern California each December. Academy, Optometry’s Meeting, and Vision Expo are also great for big conferences.
Have you ever used a practice management consultant? No
What advice do you have for young people considering optometry as a career? Optometry is a wonderful career! The beauty is you can make it whatever you want it to be. If you like research, there are jobs in that industry. If you like academic settings, there are careers there too. If you like a private practice, you can create your ideal practice with enough courage!
Please conclude by writing about anything you want people to know about you. You have to take risks to realize your full potential. If there is an opportunity, seize it! If you don’t, someone else will.