Pamela Theriot, OD, FAAO
Clinical Director of the Dry Eye Center at Lusk Eye Specialists in Shreveport, LA
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Houston, and then we moved to California when I was 12. I claim California as home, grew up in the Los Angeles area. My dad was into computers, so back in the ‘80s it was still growing. We moved from job to job. My dad is from Texas, and my mom is from California.
Why contact lenses and dry eye?
I love everything dry eye, and I try to learn whatever I can about it. My patients complain mostly about redness, sensitivity, irritation, and I like to keep my patients happy. I know they want to wear their contact lenses and wear eye makeup, so I have done a lot of research into the best way for them to continue doing those things.
How did you get interested in optometry?
I got my first pair of glasses when I was 12. I know it is cliché, but I could see the leaves on the trees. And in my 12-year-old head, I thought to myself, “It must be amazing to do this for people every single day.” The feeling that I felt being able to experience those leaves on the tree I wanted to give to people. And so, ever since I’ve been 12 I wanted to be an eye doctor.
What were the challenges as a military spouse with moving and job changes?
My husband is active duty military, and it has kept us moving from town to town. My career has ebbed and changed, probably more than the average OD. I used to think of it as a detriment to my career, and now I think of it as a blessing because I have had so many different experiences. I have had a broader range of experiences. It has made me realize what I really like to do in optometry. Now that it’s been 18 years since I graduated, I feel like I have a very strong sense of my passion.
What is something your colleagues don't know about you?
When I was in college I worked in an eye bank. I was the eye bank technician who procured the corneas, which meant that I frequented the morgues. I used to go out at all hours of the day and night to procure these corneas that were to be transplanted. Now I work for a corneal surgeon who does the transplants. It’s really cool to see the other side of it. I did that for years, even when I was in optometry school I worked for an eye bank. It’s a good way to pay the bills. [Laughs]
What's your guilty pleasure food?
Definitely a beignet.. I eat them only once a year. I live in Louisiana now, but it’s northern Louisiana, it’s not the same.