Since her 2011 residency at the Bond-Wroten Eye Clinic in Denham Springs, Louisiana, Dr. Khanh Nghi Trinh ’10, has acquired a few more roles than that of full-time optometrist: wife, first-time home owner, president of the Central Louisiana Optometric Society and proud owner of Buddy, a Labrador/Doberman mix.
She credits her Salus PCO externships with preparing her for practice. “They allowed me to explore different optometric career options,” she notes. “I was able to experience an OD-owned private practice with an OMD-owned multidisciplinary practice and I was also able to compare a VA hospital setting with a teaching institute.” Always up for an adventure, Dr. Trinh says of her externships, “I took the chance to travel to as many places that could have been potentially called ‘home.’” Those externships ranged from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Huntingdon Beach, California, with stops in Norfolk, Virginia and Columbia, South Carolina as well as The Eye Institute.
As a student Khanh Trinh expected her post-graduation life to be hectic, filled with long hours and working weekends that would help her pay off her student loans. The reality is “actually better than expected,” she says. Contrary to her speculation as a student, Dr. Trinh now works Monday through Friday and sees patients in the practice’s two offices. She says now, “After residency, I found a career opportunity that was beyond my expectations. I have been working for Dr. Lacy Shaw since August 2011 and have been rotating between his two offices.”
Dr. Trinh also has been recognized by her profession and is actively involved in it. In 2015 she was named Louisiana Young OD of the Year by the Louisiana Optometric Association in recognition of her exemplary leadership. Additionally, she has served on the Board of the Optometry Association of Louisiana since 2013 and is the current president of the Central Louisiana Optometric Society.
She recognized early on the importance of involvement. She notes, “During my first year out (of Salus PCO), I quickly realized how legislative our profession really was. My boss was the outgoing Central Louisiana Society president… the baton was passed to me… Not that long after, I was nominated to co-chair the Student Mentoring Committee and to chair the Social Media Committee as well.”
Additionally, Dr. Trinh was actively involved in the passing of HB1065 in 2015. This increased access to eye care services for Louisiana citizens by adding a limited set of eye care procedures to the list of minor surgical procedures which trusted Doctors of Optometry already provide in the state of Louisiana. As for volunteering, she says, “Throughout the years, I have participated in vision screenings held by the Lions Club, volunteered in the Special Olympics – Opening Eyes event, and even attended the Congressional Advocacy Conference in Washington DC.” Dr. Trinh believes she will remain actively involved in her profession and volunteering throughout her career.
Her roots are firmly planted in her native Louisiana where she is an active, contributing member of the optometry community there. When asked what advice she would give young alumni she says, “Join your state association and get involved! Active involvement over the course of your career will not only benefit you, but it will better your profession.” It is easy to imagine Khanh Trinh leading the way for her colleagues, as she takes on larger roles within the profession.
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