Q&A with Career Symposium Keynote Speaker Dr. Melvin Shipp

The keynote address at this years’ Career Symposium will be given by Dr. Melvin Shipp, Dean of The Ohio State University College of Optometry and the Immediate Past President of the American Public Health Association. Dr. Shipp holds a Doctor of Optometry from Indiana University, a Master of Public Health from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Public Health from the University of Michigan. His keynote will draw from his extensive knowledge and experience within the realms of both optometry and public health. You won’t want to miss it.

In order to provide a little sneak peak of Dr. Shipp’s address at the Symposium, we asked him a couple of questions which you can read below. We hope you’ll join us on February 10 to hear more about what he has to say (you can register by clicking here!)

Q: As a prominent leader in both optometry and public health, what role do you think current and future optometrists can play in the improvement of public health in the United States?

Dr. Shipp: Optometrists have an important role in our nation’s health system, and must interface effectively as an engaged member of the health care delivery team.  Many have a narrow understanding of the services optometrists provide.  During the course of a comprehensive eye examination, we often detect signs and or elicit symptoms that may be related to systemic conditions, however, patients, our health colleagues, and decision makers are frequently unaware of this fact.  It is our responsibility to broaden this understanding.

Q: If you had to choose one, what would you say has been the most valuable piece of advice you have received over the course of your career?

Dr. Shipp: The most valuable piece of advice I have followed throughout my professional career is to “remain curious.”  This is why I have worked in a variety of health related areas—including direct patient care, health profession education, clinical and policy research, and health policy development.  As a result of those activities I have worked in military hospitals, universities, research centers, and even the U.S. Congress, and my career path has been exciting and fulfilling.