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Dr. Julia Stevens on pediatric eyecare, teaching the next generation – and high fives

Dr. Julia Stevens
Blog

/ by UK HealthCare

For this week’s Making the Rounds, we interviewed Julia C. Stevens, MD, director of pediatric ophthalmology and adult motility. Dr. Stevens why she chose a career in ophthalmology – and a career working with children.  

When did you decide you wanted to pursue ophthalmology, and pediatric ophthalmology in particular?

It was clear from early on in medical school that I really liked working with children. I chose ophthalmology because I love what we're able to do for people. We have the ability to help patients with their eyesight, which is such a valuable sense that we have.

Why do you love working with children?

Part of what I love about my practice is just the joy of seeing kids. I could spend all day giving high fives and knuckles. And the joy on their face when they have a new pair of glasses, when they can see better, or we take a patch off after surgery, and they can see better, is just incredible. I feel incredibly lucky to work with kids every day. 

I feel sorry for people who don't get to have that four-year-old bop into clinic with a head full of curls and give you a big sticky hug because she just had a piece of candy. I mean, you know, that's the highlight of my day.

What’s unique about practicing ophthalmology at UK HealthCare?

I have worked with students at UK for the past 29 years and at other institutions before that. And what I find is this enriches not only the patient's care, but, obviously, trains our new generation of care providers. I'm not going to practice forever. Somebody has got to take over my practice. And the way that we accomplish that is by introducing them to our patients and the way that we do things. 

There are some days where it is a challenge, where I feel like maybe I'm not up to this task. And one of the great things about being at an institution like University of Kentucky, UK HealthCare, is that I have this wealth of knowledge and individuals around me that, if I feel uncomfortable with a particular condition, I can consult one of my colleagues down the hallway. And we can care for that patient together.


Watch our full interview with Dr. Stevens.

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