Alumni Focus on Masoud Nafey (OD'13)
DR. NAFEY'S STORY
Which degree(s), related to optometry, did you earn at Ohio State?
Who were your mentors at the College of Optometry? Who had a positive effect on your education?
Dr. Michael Earley (OD/MS’88, PhD’92), Dr. Greg Nixon (OD’96), and Dr. Vondolee Delgado-Nixon (PhD’98).
There are too many people to name, but these three stood out to me, personally. In no specific order or rank, these three professors served as mentors to not only me, but also to many of my classmates. What makes these people so special is not only that they’re tremendous educators, but also welcoming, warm-hearted, and approachable to optometry students. I don’t know how I could have gotten through optometry school without their mentorship and leadership. With that said, I firmly believe all of OSU Optometry has the best faculty in the nation.
DR. NAFEY'S CAREER IN OPTOMETRY
Name of your employer(s) and title, including location.
- Eyefinity/VSP Global
Vice President of Professional Relations
Rancho Cordova, California
- Founder/Optometrist at Vision+ Family Optometry
Give us a glimpse of your typical day as an optometrist.
Well, as the great Dr. Greg Good (OD’75, MS’79, PhD’81) used to say, “it depends!” As a practicing optometrist, my day is like any other OD who loves caring for their patients, managing their business and staff, and being involved in their community. As an employee of Eyefinity, my days vary from all-day meetings at headquarters to traveling to optometric conferences, optometric state association meetings, eyecare practices, or meeting with other industry leaders to discuss business and strategy. I am faced with new challenges every day and I appreciate that most about my career!
Which optometric issues concern you the most?
The idea of “online eye exams” concerns me the most. First, there were online refractions. Then, there are claims of “online eye exams.” What concerns me most is the public won’t know that there is no way one can obtain a thorough and comprehensive eye exam from an online exam. Telehealth/telemedicine is indefinitely coming, but it should never replace an in-office visit. Instead, I will embrace telehealth and my hope is it enhances the established relationship that patient has with their eye doctor. In my opinion, this is the best place for telehealth/telemedicine in optometry, and I will do what I can to be progressive in this arena.
Why did you choose a career in optometry?
There were so many reasons. I wanted to be an eyecare practitioner who changed lives by improving quality of life. I wanted to be in a profession that was continuing to grow. The eye is a part of the central nervous system (CNS) and there is so much we don’t know about the central nervous system! I wanted to be in a profession that continued to expand their scope of practice as technology and disease detection improved. I see that happening now with potential detection of Alzheimer’s through the retina and I firmly believe there is more medical advances in eyecare that will follow!
Where do you hope to see your optometric career in five years?
I’m not entirely sure what I’ll be doing, but truthfully, I just hope I’ll be doing more of what I’m doing today. I want to continue to positively impact the entire profession. I hope the changes I make here at Eyefinity positively impacts doctors and practices. I am the voice of our doctors and users nationwide here at Eyefinity. I take that feedback and knowledge and then lead our development team to provide clinical input in what they code into the practice management software to help liberate doctors to deliver great patient care. I want more doctors using our Eyefinity EHR software so they can enjoy what all our current users are benefiting from!
What is one piece of advice you can give OPT IV students as they prepare to graduate and begin their optometric careers?
Network, network, and network! Also, don’t ever think you’re too smart to learn something new. I’m learning something new every day and it doesn’t just happen in the clinical exam lane. I learn outside the exam lane, I learn in meetings, I learn in conferences. I’ve learned the smartest person in the room doesn’t always make the most comments. Instead, they ask the most questions.
DR. NAFEY'S OHIO STATE EXPERIENCE
What were your most memorable moments at Ohio State?
My professors were always there when I needed them most. I’ll never forget that. I also have vast memories of the EYE house and OSU football. I’ll never forget all the fun I had at that house and at that football stadium!
What does Ohio State and the College of Optometry mean to you and your family?
OSU Optometry gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream in life, which was to become a doctor. From there, I continued to build my foundational knowledge to reach my other dreams. Nevertheless, it all started at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. Moreover, my wife is from Delaware, Ohio. Hence, I’m always going to be an Ohioan at heart!
How do you stay connected with the College of Optometry?
I love seeing classmates and faculty members at Academy (AAO) and other big industry conferences. I’m always in touch with my mentors as well.
DR. NAFEY'S FUN FACTS
What are your current hobbies, volunteer work, interests?
I go to the gym every morning at 5:30 a.m. and I play in my city’s adult basketball and flag football leagues. Outside of early mornings, I don’t get too much free time to myself with work and my MBA program!
What was the first concert that you attended / most recent?
First concert – Kenny Chesney in San Jose, CA
Most recent concert – Rascal Flatts in Lake Tahoe, CA
What is your favorite winter-time activity?
Well, since we don’t get much snow up here in California, it would have to be running outdoors. I love running in cold (but not freezing) weather! I do live about an hour away from Lake Tahoe, CA, where it snows. When I get a chance to go up there, I enjoy hiking.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Flying. There is nothing more beautiful than watching the world from 30,000 feet in the air. It reminds me how insignificant I am as one of many people on this beautiful planet, and to be grateful for having what I have in this world.
What’s the best eye pun you’ve ever heard?
Don’t rub avocados in your eye. You could get guacoma!
If not an optometrist, I would be ...
A businessman or a professor. There is nothing I love more than business strategy and teaching!