Member Profile - Dr. Emily Ellingson

September 15, 2021
Member Spotlight for September
Where do you currently practice?
Roseville Eye Associates in Roseville, MN

Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Willmar, MN

What school did you graduate from (undergraduate and optometry)?
Undergraduate: University of Minnesota, College of Biological Sciences. Optometry: State University of New York College of Optometry

What are your hobbies?
Spending time with family and friends, trying new restaurants, cooking with my husband, reading, running, and being near the water.

Describe your local community involvement?
I currently serve as the Young ODs of MN co-chair (alongside Dr. Miranda Lepinski Peterson!) and love being part of the MOA. I also mentor pre-optometry and optometry students planning to join our wonderful profession! Outside of optometry, I am on the Minnesota State Team for the Distinguished Young Women of America organization, a scholarship program that provides opportunities for high school girls to showcase their talents and achievements while also participating in workshops to develop leadership and life skills.

Tell us about your family and pets?
My husband Nate and I have been married for almost a year (!) and currently live in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. We don't have any pets yet, but hoping to get a dog soon! We are very close to both our families, and I am lucky to have both of my sisters living in the Twin Cities as well.

Why do you choose to be a member of the Minnesota Optometric Association?
My introduction to the MOA was during the AOA on Capitol Hill meeting my second year of school. As we could lobby with our home state, I remember the incredible kindness and generosity of the MOA team as we were taken under their wing. That kindness and community has only grown since returning to Minnesota. The MOA provides support on every level: employment searches, volunteer opportunities, legal support, resources for opening a practice - I could go on and on. This support has been extremely apparent through COVID-19, when the MOA was working consistently to provide the best updated information for our practices, our patients, and our fellow doctors. Also, having trained in a state that did not allow optometrists to prescribe oral medications, the legislative impact of the MOA is crucial to continue practicing the way we are trained and to best care for our patients. I can't imagine not being a part of the MOA for all the support they give doctors and staff in the state of Minnesota.

What do you like best about the profession of optometry?
I love our ability to connect with patients while caring for their eyes, whether we change their life with a new prescription or diagnosis, or by just providing a kind interaction for the day. Getting to know my patients and their families is truly a privilege. I also love the community the profession has built; I love meeting other optometrists and having that instant connection and understanding. My friends from optometry school are in a group chat where we still send each other interesting cases and questions almost daily; that family-like community is unparalleled and I am so proud to be a part of this profession.

Describe your favorite memory from your optometric career.
This is a really hard question, as I truly love being an optometrist and going into work every day - so it is hard to pick just one. One of my favorite moments of being an optometrist was during a fourth-year rotation; I had been managing a patient after her PRK surgery, and we had talked about my Part 3 board exam experience. When I saw her at her next post-op, she and her husband brought me congratulations flowers for passing the boards and for taking care of her! This was my first experience with the generosity of patients, and every kind surprise from patients takes me back to this moment. As much as I love diagnosing and treating patients, the interactions we get to have with people on a daily basis are the best.

What fun fact would you like to share about yourselves that your colleagues may not know about you?
I studied abroad for six months in Townsville, Australia during my second year in college! I was debating between optometry and marine biology for my career, and figured immersing myself in studying on the Great Barrier Reef was the best way to find out! (Obviously, optometry won out!)

Please list any articles you have written or lectures you have provided to educate others on eye care.
Lectures: - Philippine Minnesota Medical Association Annual Meeting Session: “Co-Management of the Patient with Diabetic Ocular Changes.” August 16, 2019, Bloomington, MN - Northwest Residents Conference: “Do You Dig MIGS? Integrating new MIGS into glaucoma management.” June 9th, 2019. Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR - AAO Residency Educators SIG Meeting: “ASCO-AOSA Updates and Residency Promotion” October 12, 2017. American Academy of Optometry Meeting, Chicago, IL - multiple presentations to the U of M Pre-Optometry Club in 2020 and 2021 Articles and Posters: - AAO Residents Day Poster Session: “Educating and managing patients with Fuchs’ endothelial corneal dystrophy and cataracts.” November 10, 2018. American Academy of Optometry, San Antonio, TX - SUNY Students in Applied Learning, Fall 2017: College of Optometry feature - “Optometry’s Future Begins With You: Aspire to Inspire” article in AOSA Foresight Magazine Fall Issue 2017

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