Whitney Roberson Miranda, O.D.
Optometry Divas Member Since 2016
In our quest to fulfill our mission to Empower, Connect and Promote the success of women ODs, we have created this weekly feature to promote our amazing members across the country. Their stories will inspire you to dream big and reach higher!
The featured Diva for this week is Dr. Whitney Miranda. Read the full feature below to learn how she persevered until she reached her dream and why she told me, “If I couldn’t take the turnpike, I’d take the city route… Whatever it takes to get there!!!”
1. Tell us a little bit about you?
I was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. I am the youngest of 4 siblings. Some would call me the baby! I attended South Carolina State University where I received my Bachelors of Science degree and I received my Doctorate at Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University in 2014. I recently got married in August 2018 to the Love of my Life Henry Miranda and no little ones yet!
2. What made you decide to become in Optometrist?
I knew I wanted to be a doctor since I was 8 years old. I even wrote that down as part of an assignment in Elementary school. I had an older cousin, who was more like a big sister to me and every time I talked to her, she told me that one day she would become a doctor. I admired her so much and I wanted to be just like her.
As we got older, she continued to pursue that dream and one day she did become a doctor. She was the first in my father’s side of the family to go to college, so becoming a doctor was a real big deal. When she became a doctor, I became even more inspired and driven, for now I knew for sure that this dream was possible for me too!
In high school I did some research on the steps required to become a physician. I first thought of going to medical school, but I realized I didn’t want to spend that much time in school. I still wanted to be a doctor, but I wanted to find a shorter route.
It was when my grandma started having problems with her eyes that I was introduced to Optometry. I was amazed by how much her doctors cared for her and how dedicated they were. I was moved by that kind of compassion and that’s what compelled me to look into Optometry. As I did some research, I realized Optometry was the profession I was looking for. I could still become a doctor but I would not need to spend an eternity in school.
My grandma also supported the idea and encouraged me to pursue this dream. She would often tell me, “One day you will become the 1st doctor in my side of the family so don’t let anything or any man get in the way of your dreams of becoming a doctor.” That stayed with me throughout my entire college career.
Unfortunately, my grandma didn’t get to even see me get into Optometry School. She died a few weeks before I graduated college. However, I never forgot her request. I recently realized that, my grandmothers advice was the reason why I waited to get married. I wanted to make sure I didn’t disappoint my grandma. I believe I did make her proud that day when I got my diploma.
3. What Optometry school did you go to?
4. Where do you currently practice?
I currently practice at Vision Specialists of Central Florida.1495 West S.R. 434 Suite 109
Longwood, FL 32750-3895
5. Do you offer any specialty services in your practice?
Vision Therapy is my passion. In Optometry School I discovered that I had Convergence Insufficiency. As I learned more about this condition, I realized that the reason I wasn’t a good standard test taker was because I had convergence insufficiency. I realized that I fell in between the gap because I never needed glasses.
Since my vision was “good” no one ever tested me for binocular problems. As a result, I was never diagnosed and thus didn’t get the help I needed. I realized now that I wasn’t slow, I just had an undiagnosed vision condition. If only someone had discovered this in my early year, school would have been so much easier.
I practice Vision Therapy because I want to help kids like me. If I can help them not go through what I went through in school, it would make all the difference in the world for me. That is why I do what I do every day.
6. Name 1 to 3 hurdles you personally faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
Getting into Optometry School was a challenge for me. I didn’t make the OAT scores required to get accepted when I finished college. Even though I graduated Magna Cum Lade, my OAT scores were just too low. So I had to wait one year to reapply.
At first, I thought of changing path, but my mom did not let me quit. I took that test 3 times before I could get the score I wanted. Having people in my corner to push and inspire me not to give up helped me persevere. My family pushed me because they knew I was worth more than I felt at that moment in my life.
Working with doctors who looked like me, also helped me persevere. Seeing them everyday made me realize that this dream was possible for me too. I decided that I wouldn’t let any setback stop me, If I couldn’t take turnpike, I’d take the city route… Whatever it takes to get there!!!
During that year, I studied for the OAT and worked in doctors’ offices. I stayed close to the industry to make sure I didn’t lose my focus. During that time, I worked as a receptionist, a technician and an optician. I learned as much as I could about the day to day operations of a practice because I knew I would reach my dream one day.
After that 1 year, I took the OAT again and I still got a low score. I had to wait another year to get in but this time I did well enough to get into a waiting list. Luckily I got accepted into a summer enrichment program at PCO and that secured my spot on the waiting list. So in total, I had to wait 2 years before I got into Optometry school. But I never gave up! There were only 11 minority students in my class of 163 and I am proud to say that we all graduated.
7. If you could go back to when you were a student, what advice would you give yourself?
If I could go back, I’d tell myself to do the following:
- Negotiate the salary that you deserve. Do your research before signing a contract.
- Understand and learn all you can about practice management. Pay attention to that area because it becomes so important after school.
- Understand what you’re in store for with Vision Insurance. Get some training in billing and coding to prepare for real life in practice.
To contact Whitney you can click on her social media profile links below or visit her practice website – drmarcsherman.com.