Pamela Theriot, O.D.

Secretary for Women of Vision

Greg and Pam Theriot

Pam has been the Secretary for Women of Vision for several years now.  Though, through the years her time zone for our monthly phone meetings has changed a couple of times.  She talks to WOV today about what it is like to be a private practice Optometrist who is married to a Military service member.

WOV: Is your husband also an Optometrist?
Pam:  No, he is a fighter pilot. He flies a single man fighter jet called the A-10.
WOV: I bet he has great vision then.
Pam: Actually, he does. He sees better than 20/20 uncorrected.  It's disgusting.

WOV:  How many times have you moved?
Pam:  Five different cities in four states, since graduating from Optometry School in 2001.
WOV : So, how many licenses do you have.
Pam :  I have been licensed in New York, California, New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona.

WOV:  So, why is it that you have moved so often?
Pam:  In my husband’s career field, he makes a “Permanent Change of Station”, PCS, every three years.  Not everyone in the military moves at the same pace.  It has to do with which branch of the military you are in, your rank, your job description, and sometimes the number of bases which have your job description.

WOV:  So, you have seen Optometry in many different places across the country. What do you think are the similarities?
Pam:  Overall, I think ODs are friendly people. We don't seem to get so caught up in competition that we don't enjoy spending time with one another at local CE events. We share our knowledge with one another and seem to like each other.  In general, it is a profession I'm glad I have chosen. 

WOV:  What are the biggest differences in Optometry in various states?
Pam:  The biggest change for me was my last move from Tucson, AZ to Syracuse, NY.  You may think I am talking about the weather here, but Optometry is quite different as well.  I am sorry to say that in NY, ODs can NOT prescribe orals.  This really tripped me up my first couple of months here.  Suddenly, I couldn’t treat meibomian gland dysfunction in the same way I had before or get the Herpes Simplex patients medicated as quickly.  It was a dramatic change for me.

WOV:  What is the best part about moving so often?
Pam:  I think it has made me a better Optometrist.  Each new work situation has enabled me to develop further as a practitioner.  I have benefitted from working in different types of practices and learning different ways of practicing optometry.   I started off doing a pediatric and vision therapy residency.  However, while we lived in Arizona, I worked in an age-restricted retirement town.  So, all of my patients were over 55 years old.  These life circumstances have forced me to expand my knowledge base.  And, I have enjoyed learning from the doctors with whom I have worked.

WOV:  Thanks Dr. Theriot for taking the time to discuss your particular situation with us today.  I’m sure our readers will find your journey interesting.  And, please thank your husband for his service to our country.
Pam:  Thank you very much for speaking with me today.  And, my husband, says you’re welcome.