Q&A with JACK SCHAEFFER, O.D., F.A.A.O.,
Editor-in-Chief • O.D. Scene
Millicent Knight is one of several examples of a passionate O.D. who has used her skills and experience to aid the eye care industry in connecting with professionals to further help their patients achieve optimum vision and ocular health. Dr. Knight is the former owner of North Shore Eye Center Your Vision Source and Integrative Eye & Wellness Center, in Evanston, Ill., and has represented our great profession at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and now, Essilor.
Hear from Dr. Knight about how she spends her time, what advice she’d give to an optometry student and her most interesting practice event or clinical case. Enjoy! —Dr. Schaeffer
INDUSTRY O.D. → O.D. WEIGHS IN...
MILLICENT KNIGHT, O.D., F.A.A.O., F.A.A.R.M., S.V.P.
Q: WHEN YOU ARE NOT WORKING, HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME?
MK: I love to travel and learn about other cultures. My travel has been all over the world from North-Central-South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. Many of these trips took me out of my comfort zone:
- Level 5 white water rafting in Zimbabwe with flat dogs (crocodiles) around.
- Trekking Machu Picchu
- Solo Trek to the Galapagos Islands
- Amazon Surgical Eye Expedition
- Study Holistic Medicine in Aruba
- South Africa post-apartheid volunteer work and journey down into the gold mines as an honorary white man (against the law for a woman).
- Mother-daughter journey to Budapest
Q: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO AN OPTOMETRY STUDENT?
MK: Giving back and educating at home: Nearly all of my legislators were my patients, including aldermen, commissioners, the mayor, state representatives, a state senator and a U.S. representative. I supported their efforts and could always discuss health care areas of interest, benefits of scope expansions and even mandatory eye exams for children starting in kindergarten. Giving back to schools: I have a passion for the student experience. I served two terms on the Board of Trustees (BOT) of my undergraduate Augustana College, and 12 years on the BOT of Illinois College of Optometry (ICO). At that time, I brought the younger O.D. perspective as both the first female O.D., and the youngest board member.
Q: WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST INTERESTING PRACTICE EVENT OR CLINICAL CASE?
MK: I’ve learned advocacy from a young age from family members heavily engaged in legislative/advocacy efforts. Most of my advocacy has been around my patients, profession, eye care industry (regionally and globally) and communities I have lived in. Eyecare missions: Columbia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, The Amazon, Haiti, and American impoverished areas. Biggest take home from a global patient: “I have no money to pay you, but God will pay you.” OM