Full Name: Thanh Mai

Name of Practice: Insight Vision Center Optometry and Optometry Corner.

Setting: Group Private Practice (the best way to practice in my humble opinion, you get to share ideas with like minded individuals and treat patients the way you want)

Location: Costa Mesa and Irvine

High School: Camarillo High School. Go scorpions!

Optometry School attended: Southern California College of Optometry

Other Education: UCLA, Go bruins!!

Tell us something interesting about yourself? I used to be a BIG time introvert. Parties were the devil and a good book and video games at home were solace. As I am getting more wrinkles, I love meeting new people and making new relationships. In particular, I have unusually stumbled on the fact that I love speaking and teaching. There are few things more gratifying than someone coming up and asking for more information and how they’re going to take some lessons from the talk to help grow their practice.

Favorite Hobby: My favorite hobby right now is playing golf. Getting too weak and slow for fast sports like soccer and basketball so I’m diving into golf (and probably pickleball) to future proof my sports game of choice =).

Tell us about your family: My parents are both hyperopes but all 4 us (me being the highest) are greater than -6.00 myopes. That pretty much convinced me that the environment drives myopia early in my career. Now I have more scientific evidence to back it up. Lo and behold now I spend a significant portion of my career spreading the message that myopia needs to be managed and treated at an early age.

Tell us about your parent’s occupations: Dad is a retired engineer and my mom was a stay at home mom. I remember filling out the FAFSA for financial aid in college was the first time I finally learned how much money my dad made. I was shocked how he fed us all. Basically explained why we had no vacations and I had never been on a plane until college.

Why did you choose optometry as a career? Ultimately what sealed the deal was shadowing Dr. Michael Kostura. His patients and staff were so happy. He seemed to have a great work life balance in private practice. I was sold. He also made me hungry to own my own private practice. No better way to control your destiny than in your own practice.

What aspects of your professional life do you find most rewarding? My favorite thing besides patient care is seeing colleagues and students have professional success. It’s MUCH more rewarding for me to hear the stories of my staff member getting into optometry school and crying tears of joy. It’s much more rewarding to see my peers open up their own practice and knock it out of the park out of the gate. It’s much more rewarding to speak in front of an audience and have people come up afterwards to tell me how much value they got out of it.

How did you end up working where you are now? At my age, I like to say “yes” and then shuffle the chaos later. Most of my colleagues will know me as a private practice owner in Southern California. More recently however, I’ve taken on roles in industry with Treehouse Eyes, Vision Source, and dabble at SCCO as an adjunct professor.  Each one stemmed from a common reason, I honestly love to help others and add value. One of my life’s missions is to help children with myopia and there is no better group of people than the team at Treehouse Eyes solely focused on that. I love seeing other doctor’s succeed and strongly believe there is no better network of doctors than my colleagues at Vision Source. I’ve found that by working together and with like-minded individuals, it has led me much farther than I could ever imagine walking by myself.