Dana Donaldson, OD, was inspired to become an eye doctor following her father’s diagnosis with glaucoma. It was frustrating to attend appointments with him and see him losing his sight to an incurable disease.
“After this experience, I knew that I wanted to be a part of a profession that could educate people about keeping their eyes healthy and also give them their best possible vision,” she said.
Donaldson earned her undergraduate degree and Doctor of Optometry degree at Indiana University. She is a pediatric optometrist and sees patients at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health and Springmill Clinic at IU Health.
A mentor in the field encouraged her to pursue pediatrics as a subspecialty. She admits she was originally unsure of the career path; but she learned very quickly that she loved working with kids because of how cute, curious and challenging they can be.
Being part of the IU School of Medicine faculty and being around residents, fellows and interns keeps Donaldson learning, she said. She’s able to stay up to date on the newest technology and latest research while also engaging with trainees who are new to the field and eager to learn. In addition to diagnostic skills, Donaldson likes teaching residents and fellows different strategies for smoother examinations with kids and ways they can get accurate information during squirmy interactions.
“I think many of the residents are hesitant about coming to the pediatric ophthalmology rotation, because examining a child is very different than an adult,” she said.
“I enjoy seeing them come in with apprehension and leaving our rotation with a sense of confidence with their pediatric exam skills.”
“Ultimately, I want them to leave with a new skill set of examining pediatric patients and have some fun in the process,” she said. “I hope they realize that how we interact with these kids is just as important as the data we put in their chart.”