Full Name: Mahtab Vaziri
Name of Practice: Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care/ Keplr
Location: Rockville, Maryland
High School Attended: Chantilly High School
College Attended: George Mason University
Optometry School Attended: New England College of Optometry
Tell us something interesting about yourself: I have traveled to Iran at age 15 to visit family, Indonesia for a volunteer trip with some amazing optometry students from Pacific University and another wonderful fellow optometrist, and to the Bahamas and Jamaica for vacations. I love music, spending time with family, comedy shows, and playing fantasy football!
Tell us about your family: My parents came to the United States a year before the Iranian Revolution in 1977. My father was studying Civil Engineering at Indiana State University. So once that revolution happened, they thankfully had to stay in the U.S., and then I was born a year later! I also have a younger sister, by 2.5 years. As well as an older brother by about 5 years. I’ve been married for 6 years to my husband Josh (who is half Irish, half Iranian), and we have our 3.5-year-old son, Keon.
Tell us about your parent’s occupations: My mother is retired/was a caregiver to my son when he was a baby (she used to be an elementary school teacher in Iran) and my father is a Realtor (used to be an architect).
Why did you choose optometry as a career? It all started when I was about 10 or 11 and my father caught me squinting while watching t.v.
So, low and behold I was a bit myopic and got my first pair of glasses and I was amazzzed! Felt like magic, and I thought to myself… I wanna do that for other people.
What aspects of your professional life do you find most rewarding? Just helping people see, simple as that. 99.9% of patients leave the office happy, and that makes my day. Especially first time glasses wearers, who can really appreciate the difference or even presbyopes who never thought they could wear contacts to read. Then there are the specialty contact lens fits who never achieved clear vision until being prescribed the right lens fit for their eyes. And just overall helping patients in any way I can with their eyes. There is so much going on in a little part of the body that continues to fascinate me.
What aspects of your professional life do you find least rewarding? Charting and worrying about what’s covered with different insurance companies.
How did you end up working where you are now? We had moved to Maryland from Northern Virginia for my husband’s work and I was able to connect with Dr. Glazier through LinkedIn. I had seen an interview with him about how he was one of the first doctors in the area to have Lipiflow. And I had always had an interest in helping more dry eye patients. So the fact that he embraces new technology to be able to treat such patients was very impressive and inspiring. Luckily, he had a need for a new doctor, so I was happy about the perfect timing. Then once I got to meet such an amazing staff, from our office manager, Kim Barnhouse to the amazing technicians, like Lori Fischer and to now having the pleasure of working with my colleagues, Dr. Vicky Wong and Dr. Lauren Rubin, it has been just so refreshing to be amongst such talented and truly wonderful people!
What professional conferences do you like best? Vision Expo or AOA are both always fun to catch up with good friends from Optometry school while attending good CE classes. I also enjoy attending MOA, being able to stay up to date with where our state is in the world of Optometry, and getting to catch up with local ODs.
What advice do you have for young people considering optometry as a career? Do it. It’s a very rewarding medical career. I love that it is generally a clean medical profession with regular work hours, allowing for a great work/life balance.
Please conclude by writing anything you want people to know about yourself. I feel as I have grown older and somewhat wiser (I’d like to think anyway), that being perfect is not achievable. As a young student and younger O.D., I felt my voice or knowledge was not that important, but then I realized how insecure and wrong that was of me to think. I hope all young students and for that matter, optometrists young and old, know all we can do is our best. Also, we must always be open to growing and constantly educating ourselves and learning, whether it’s optometry-related or about all things in life, for that will, in my opinion, make you a better person AND better doctor. To sum it up here’s a quote I recently heard that resonated with me, “One person actually can affect large scale change…Do not let other people put a limit or ceiling on your life.” -Emmanuel Acho