My name is Rachel Smith and I’m an optometrist at Children’s.
I truly have a heart for kids — I love working with kids. I feel that they just bring joy and they make your life fun, I really enjoy that aspect of what I do. I had an undiagnosed vision problem myself — and knowing how it impacted me, I just think it’s amazing to be able to catch those things, and diagnose and treat them for these kids early.
We see a really broad variety of kids in our clinic here: From a kiddo that’s failed a vision screening and just needs glasses to a kid that’s undergoing cancer treatment or chemotherapy, a kid who has a complex genetic condition, or one who has some special medications that can impact their eyes — we really see a broad spectrum of things.
In terms of what we do here and how I strive to be as a provider, I try and continue to be the very best I can be — whether that means continued learning, continued education, or continued honing of my skills — I’m just being on my A-game so that I can provide the best patient care and treat each child as if they were my own.
Kids only know the way that they see — to them that’s completely normal. So if they’re seeing blurry, if they’re only using one eye over the other — they oftentimes don’t know any different. To get them to be compliant with a treatment plan initially can be really, really challenging.
It can also be hard to explain that to the parents from the opposite end — because the parents can’t see what their kids are seeing. Oftentimes, they don’t have any flag in their mind that this is really a huge issue for their kid. That communication is really important.
Medical School: Indiana University School of Optometry