Full Name: Lauren Spencer, O.D.
Name of Practice: Insight Eye Care (Part-time), Lenscrafters (Fill-In), Bowersox Vision Center (Resident beginning July 2019)
Setting: Private Practice and Corporate
Location: Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area and Louisville, KY – Insight Eye Care (Florence, KY), Lenscrafters (Crestview Hills, KY), Bowersox Vision Center (Louisville, KY and Shelbyville, KY)
Date of Birth: October 23rd

High School Attended: St. Henry District High School (Erlanger, KY)

College Attended: University of Kentucky: BS in Biology, Minor: Psychology (Lexington, KY)

Optometry School Attended: UAB School of Optometry (Birmingham, AL) – graduated May 2018

Tell us something interesting about yourself: I have fallen in love with traveling since being involved in SVOSH in optometry school. I was able to provide eye care to people in need internationally and learned so much through those experiences. I’ve been inspired to discover and experience not only my home country of the United States, but also travel throughout the world to learn, experience, and grow through helping others. I plan to volunteer through travel as much as possible throughout my career in Optometry.

Tell us about your family: Although our roots are in Alabama, my immediate family and I currently live in Union, KY and have lived here for 20 years. My parents are Monica and Vince Spencer and they have been married for 28 years. I am the oldest of 4 children. I have a sister who graduated from Vanderbilt University this year and is now a Biomedical Engineer. I have a brother who graduated from Cooper High School this year and is now a postgraduate student preparing for a football or academic scholarship to study engineering next year in college. My youngest sister is only 9 years old and will be a 5th grader next year! I am currently engaged to my fiance, Derrick Lewis, who is currently a Pharmacy Student at Samford University in Birmingham, AL. We are getting married in the fall of 2020!

Tell us about your parent’s occupations: My mom was an HR manager for many years and now is a stay-at-home mom. My dad owns a small business that makes coatings involved in the ink/printing industry.

Why did you choose optometry as a career? I chose optometry because of the flexibility and many opportunities that it offers. I was originally a pre-med student in undergrad, but I decided that I didn’t really want to go to medical school and looked into other healthcare career possibilities. I knew that I loved working with kids and healthcare so I wanted something that would combine those things. I shadowed a few optometrists in Lexington, KY during undergrad and fell in love with Optometry. It was a profession that I could make my own, I could help and really get to know my patients, and I could even specialize in pediatrics if I wanted.

What aspects of your professional life do you find most rewarding? It is most rewarding to me when I am able to help patients solve problems with their vision that have been affecting their daily lives. For example, it’s so rewarding to witness a child putting on their glasses for the first time and seeing their facial expression as they see the world clearly. It is also rewarding to talk with patients about the health of their eyes combating issues like dry eye and eye allergies. I also find it rewarding when I am able to monitor changes from systemic diseases like diabetes that can affect the eyes and direct patients to the care they need to manage such a disease.

What aspects of your professional life do you find least rewarding? I think one area of my professional life/optometric career that could be improved is public health knowledge of optometry and how we are able to help patients in so many ways. In recent years, Optometry has become more visible to the public eye, but I think patients still need a better understanding of the importance of eye and vision health. It is my goal to bring this awareness to the community!

How did you end up working where you are now? I was searching for job opportunities in the northern Kentucky area and happened upon Insight Eye Care that was very close to my home. I saw that their current optometrist, Dr. Rachel Travis, also graduated from UAB School of Optometry and so I reached out to her to meet her and talk to her about optometry in the area and see if she might be interested in having an associate. I ended up working part-time with her and she also introduced me to Dr. Punam Saini at Lenscrafter in Crestview Hills where I do fill-in work. Although I have been working for about a year, I decided to pursue residency because Pediatric Optometry and Vision Therapy/Vision Rehab are my passions! I have accepted a residency position at Bowersox Vision Center in Louisville, KY that will begin in July 2019. I am so excited to work with this team and to learn more about Vision Therapy. It is my dream to bring more vision therapy and vision rehab to the northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati area, especially near home in Union, KY.

What professional conferences do you like best? Some of my favorite professional conferences include NOA, SECO, COVD, Academy, and Optometry’s meeting! The transition from being a student member of these organizations to being a doctor member has been a great experience and I love attending meetings to learn about what is new in Optometry.

Have you ever used a practice management consultant? No

What advice do you have for young people considering optometry as a career? I would tell young people that Optometry is an amazing profession! It is small, but it is mighty! I have made long-lasting friendships in my colleagues that I’ve met through the profession and through my time in Optometry school. Optometry has so many different avenues from which you can find your specialty. I love that you can make your career as flexible as you like and use your talents to help others.

Please conclude by writing about anything you want people to know about you. I hope to make a lasting impact on each and every patient, employee, and doctor that I have the pleasure of working with by bringing joy into their lives. Optometry is so unique in that we as a team of health care professionals have the ability to literally help others SEE their future. That is what makes this job rewarding! I plan to use my Optometric career to bring eye care to all communities, especially underserved populations in the USA and abroad. I am committed to making this world a better place one pair of eyes at a time!!