NASHVILLE, TN — Most doctors are comfortable practicing within the four walls of their clinic. Optometrist Feyi Aworunse isn’t like most doctors.
When hundreds of patients needed her and her fellow optometrists’ care in Costa Rica, they didn’t let the lack of a physical clinic stop them. They rolled out their charts, stuck them on some nearby trees and got to work.
“When I say I can practice anywhere,” Dr. Aworunse says, “I mean I can practice anywhere.”
Thankfully, anywhere turned out to be Nashville General. Though her days aren’t as dramatic as back when she worked abroad, she still finds that no two days are the same. But it’s not just the variety that draws her to the hospital.
“I would say the thing that makes every day worth it is the people I encounter,” revealed Dr. Aworunse. “It’s one thing to be doing a job, but it’s another thing to just sit and talk with the person in front of me without the pressure of ‘we’ve got to get you in and out.’”
Dr. Aworunse doesn’t just know her patients. She shares their experiences.
A Nigerian-American Nashville native, Dr. Aworunse graduated from MLK Jr. Magnet High School, just a short walk from Nashville General. It was there that she first immersed herself in healthcare through internship programs, and where she discovered her passion for caregiving.
“It’s my dream job,” said Dr. Aworunse. “I’m able to care for people, and in the city I grew up in. People who are often overlooked and underserved, people from all walks of life. I can’t put into words how blessed I am to do what I do.”
Interning for a local nonprofit inspired her move into optometry. When performing screenings for the homeless, something dawned on her.
“I realized how much vision played a role in the trajectory in one’s life,” says Dr. Aworunse, “For me it was an, no pun intended, eye-opening experience to see the impact eye care and good vision could have for a person and a community.”
For Dr. Aworunse, vision is more than what you see. It’s the experience of watching grandchildren grow older, marveling at fireworks and so much more. That’s why, in her mind, an eye appointment isn’t one to shove off your schedule.
“My role is to look for the things you don’t know are going on because there are so many changes that can happen in the eyes without warning,” reveals Dr. Aworunse. “I tell my patients, ‘Your job is to tell me what’s going on with your eyes and vision. You’re the expert in what your experience is. So we bridge that together to make sure we’re taking care of you the best way we can.’”
Dr. Aworunse is accepting patients at The Eye Center at NGH, 1818 Albion Street, Nashville. Call 615-341-4968 to schedule an appointment.