Full Name: Athena Brasfield, O.D.
Name of Practice: Coachella Valley Optometry
Setting: Independent O.D. practice
Location: Greater Palm Springs Area
High School Attended: Corona Del Mar HS
College Attended: UC Santa Barbara
Optometry School Attended: UC Berkeley
Tell us something interesting about yourself: I don’t really like to cook. To me, it seems like work! I prefer to go out because there’s no dishes or mess to clean up afterward. But you can only eat out so much! So I have been subscribing to Sun Basket, and I do cook an organic healthy dinner for the family a few times/week. I like to crank on the tunes, and I recruit Cash (our son) to help me wash the veggies and we have a dance party in the kitchen.
Tell us something about your family: We are all only children! My husband, my son, and I. The smallest family ever!
Tell us about your parent’s occupations: Optometry is in my blood. I was born and raised in this industry, as my parents are both master opticians and during my childhood, they owned and operated an independent optical shop in Newport Beach, California for over 25 years.
Why did you choose optometry as your career? I always knew I wanted to be either a doctor or a lawyer because I was so studious and loved learning. But in my senior year of HS, I saw that movie “The Devil’s Advocate,” and then I never wanted to be an attorney again. (The funny thing is that I married an attorney instead, haha) When I started looking into medicine, I wanted a career with good work/life balance, a positive impact on the community, good income, and quality of life. Optometry filled all those requirements. I never wanted to miss my kid’s soccer game or leave the dinner table because I was on call and had to rush to the hospital. Also, since my parents were opticians, I was constantly exposed to the optometry field. It was a natural choice.
What aspects of your professional life do you find most rewarding? I love the challenge, the responsibility, and the freedom that being a business owner allows.
What aspects of your professional life do you find least rewarding? It’s a 24/7 job. You never have any time off since you are constantly thinking about and tending to your business, even on your “off” days.
How did you end up working where you are now? I was an employee for 6 months straight out of optometry school before I was offered partnership in my first company in Northern California. I was a managing partner there for over 6 years. Then I resigned and moved to the Coachella Valley in 2014. I was an associate at the offices I now own for 2.5 years before founding Coachella Valley Optometry.
What professional conferences do you like best? Vision Expo- I love to see what’s trending in eyewear fashion and technology!
What advice do you have for young people considering optometry as a career? Consider this profession a journey to learn about yourself. The purpose is to grow as a human being; to discover what you’re good at, what you love to do, and what you dislike. Discover your why, and you’ll become happier and more passionate in life!
Please conclude by writing anything you want people to know about yourself. My favorite song is Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. Don’t Stop Believin’ carries a timeless message that says don’t stop believing in you – don’t stop believing in the world – don’t stop believing in anything. Life goes on (and on and on) regardless of who you are or where you are at in life.