100 Stories: Maria Pribis, OD '09, FAAO
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100 Stories: Maria Pribis, OD '09, FAAO

Why did you choose your particular profession?

I decided to go into optometry my sophomore year of college. I had two really great optometry mentors, Claudia Gonzalez, OD ‘92 and Michael Higgins, OD ’92. They were my eye doctors and they just helped mentor me into the field. I knew I always wanted to take care of people and I just felt that empowering people to see better was an amazing way to spend your day.

Dr. Pribis and friendsTell me about your time at Salus/PCO. Why did you choose to study there?

I chose PCO because I loved that the curricula had a focus on disease and I knew early on that I was passionate about dry eye and I was able to learn a lot about that at PCO. Dr. Andy Gurwood was one of the teachers that helped whip me into shape and help me learn my stuff, as well as many others, but he definitely was a huge influencer on me and I just have felt really passionate about optometry ever since.

Tell me about your life after Salus/PCO – where do/did you practice, how long?

Currently I practice in an OD/MD setting with a specialty in dry eye. I take care of lots of patients that have been suffering for years. It is just amazing to be able to help them stop thinking about their eyes all day and to be able to get back to their normal lives and just function and live. I also get to take care of patients that have complicated corneas with specialty contact lenses, and that has been a great experience as well. Helping people who were told that they could never see 20/20 actually get almost to that level is rewarding,. I love working with ophthalmologists in my practice because it is just amazing if I have something that I don’t know what it is, I can pull one of them in and they can give me a second opinion on the spot and then they can help me if it is something surgical. That is really the biggest thing that I love about what I do and why I am grateful that PCO gave me the opportunity.