Dr. Sarah Sweeney Dohrman

Why did you make UMSL Optometry Home?

As a student in optometry school, we would have guest instructors from private practices around town come to speak to us about what a day in their office looked like. I remember thinking, “Wow, this doctor has so much wisdom to share with the students about what it’s like in the real world!” I was inspired to follow a similar path and planned to return to Academia after gathering real-world experience, but I didn’t know where or when or what value I could bring to optometric education.

After years of working in private practice settings, I was feeling a little restless and needed a change. When I applied to join the faculty at UMSL, I was concerned about starting a new career at a school I had not attended, and was worried I’d feel like an outsider, or I wouldn’t be able to be the kind of instructor the students could look up to.

It seems silly now to think about how uncertain I felt at the time, because from day one, I’ve felt nothing but encouraged, respected, and supported while taking on the role of optometric educator. I feel so fortunate that the incredible group of people that makes up the faculty, staff, and student body is just across the river from where we decided to raise our family. I never would’ve guessed I would enjoy any job as much as I enjoy being a part of the team here at UMSL College of Optometry. I’ve always felt welcome, and it truly feels like home.

Why should someone choose UMSL Optometry?

From my perspective, I feel confident that the instructors who make up the faculty bring a lot of passion and experience to both the curriculum and clinic. I can’t imagine a more dedicated team of people committed to making the students’ success a priority and ensuring patients receive the best care.