The following is part of an ongoing series of interviews with New England College of Optometry alumni presented by the Office of Alumni Affairs. This month’s installation features Amanda Powers, OD ‘11.
NECO is the cornerstone of my career and where I am today. I am so blessed and thankful for the time I spent at NECO and for the friends I’ve made. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Where are you currently living and practicing?
Dr. Powers: I currently live in Los Angeles and practice at Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. I work with a cataract and refractive surgeon, seeing patients in the clinic full time. I also teach the ophthalmology residents at the David Geffen School of Medicine and work with cornea fellows who rotate through our clinic.
At the Institute, we research new products. The most recent products were high-powered toric lens implants and light-adjustable lens implants. We are working on FDA approval for artificial iris implants for patients who have had trauma to the eye or were born with aniridia. For more information, please view our website: www.humanoptics.com.
Why were you drawn to a career in optometry?
Dr. Powers: While attending UC, Santa Barbara, I began working with a doctor and realized that I loved learning about her patient’s vision diagnoses and eye care. She became my mentor and encouraged me to become an optometrist.
What was your first position immediately after graduating?
Dr. Powers: I accepted my position with at UCLA, following the completion of my residency at VA Brockton in Massachusetts.
Can you share some memorable moments and your most valued experiences as a NECO student?
Dr. Powers: I enjoyed being involved in Student Council. The friends I made at NECO will last a lifetime. I loved the experience of living in downtown Boston. Growing up in Los Angeles, we didn’t really have seasons. I enjoyed apple picking in the fall, watching the first snowfall in the city, and going to Red Sox games.
Do you kept in contact with fellow NECO alumni?
Dr. Powers: I keep in touch with friends as best as I can. There are so many ways to keep in touch now with social media. I also like to attend Academy and other conferences every year. I appreciate the alumni receptions at the conferences, because each one is like a mini-reunion!
Why is staying connected and staying involved with NECO important to you?
Dr. Powers: NECO is the cornerstone of my career and where I am today. I am so blessed and thankful for the time I spent at NECO and for the friends I’ve made. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Fast forward 5 year or 10 years. What are some of your professional goals?
Dr. Powers: I would like to become a fellow in the American Academy of Optometry.
What are your interests/hobbies?
Dr. Powers: I am involved in the South Bay Optometric Society (part of the California Optometric Association). I spend my free time at the beach, playing volleyball, surfing, and paddle boarding.
Do you have any fun personal/professional trivia to share? What has been your most interesting patient encounter?
Dr. Powers: On occasion, our clinic has celebrity patients from Beverly Hills and Hollywood!
In Their Own Words, is a series of interviews with NECO alumni presented by the Office of Alumni Relations. If you are interested in being featured, please contact Margery Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org.