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Ryan Powell, OD '02
Where did you receive your education?
B.S. Biology, University of Missouri;
O.D., Southern College of Optometry, 2002
How has your optometric education played a role in your life today?
I am a full-time optometrist practicing in my six-location private practice.
What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
The greatest challenge for me was balancing life and school. My wife, Amy, and I had our first child during my first year of optometry school and our second during the third year. She was very supportive and we had a great time raising our two children while going to school.
What is the value of your optometric eduation?
My family's sole source of income comes from my practicing optometry. My wife has been able to stay home with our three children. Being in private practice has also allowed me to manage my time according to my needs.
What would you say to someone who's undecided about pursuing a career in optometry?
Spend some time with some optometrists. Ask them to have lunch with you, ask if you can observe in their offices. I think you'll find that most of them find optometry an intellectually challenging and personally rewarding profession.
What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
I was lucky to grow up with a dad who is also an optometrist and a mom who has a master's degree. There was no question for me that spending my twenties getting an education was the way to go.
What keeps you going?
My wife, three children, and our six office locations provide a life filled with fun, excitement, and surprises. My cup is way over half full.