Diana L. Shechtman, OD, FAAO
Elite Diva- Miami, FL
The featured Diva for this week is Dr. Diana Last. Read the full feature below to learn how Diana embraced change and ended up where she was meant to be…
1. Tell us a little bit about you?
I was born in Caracas, Venezuela.
I am married to Leon Shechtman (who is also an optometrist) & we have 2 kids: Kyle, a sophomore at UF’s engineering program & Ashley a junior in high school who aspires to go into the medical field.
I like the fact that I am very motivated and often persevere over most challenges I face; especially professionally.
After having the opportunity to lecture in so many states and counties and thus, traveling the world, I have to admit I merely enjoy time at home with my family. It may seem simple, but for me who lives life in the fast lane, taking some time to relax and enjoy my blessing is my favorite thing to do.
2. What made you decide to become an Optometrist?
I was always fascinated with the eye and its connection to the visual, ocular and systemic systems. I also felt that as an optometrists I can be far more engaged and connected with my patients.
I feel within my field I can:
- Help others see better.
- Diagnose, manage & treat a variety of ocular conditions
- Co manage with others health care professionals, including but not limited to
- General and Specialty Ophthalmology
- Primary Care Providers
- Infectious Disease Specialists
At the end, I feel Optometrists help patients do more than see better, we help them feel better. That is why I chose Optometry as a career.
3. What Optometry school did you go to?
4. Where do you currently practice?
5. Do you offer any specialty services in your practice?
I practice in a setting that provides full scope care for patients with retinal diseases
6. Name 1 to 3 hurdles you personally faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
1. Balancing family & my profession: I have an incredibly supportive husband who helped at home when I wanted to participate in lecturing in different states and countries all around the world. He was also there as my biggest fan when I devoted countless hours into my career as an author, professor, researcher and scholar. He also has always been my rock; especially when I decided to make a shift in my career.
2. As a woman Optometrist working within medical Optometry, there are always everyday challenges. Mainly based upon the fact that not everyone understand my role, profession or abilities. But with the support of many colleagues including my amazing surgeons, staff and administrators, I have been able to practice full scope medical optometry with an emphasis in diagnosing and managing/co-managing retinal diseases.
In addition, I get to work closely with so many of my colleagues. This is one of my biggest blessings within my profession. By working together I realize that the sum is really greater than any of its individual parts!
7. If you could go back to when you were a student, what advice would you give yourself?
Take all opportunities presented to you.
Never give up!
Embrace change because you may not end up where you initially envisioned yourself to be but you will likely end up where you were meant to be.
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To contact Diana click on email her at [email protected].