Board Spotlight – Dr. Kristen Thelen, OD
For Dr. Kristen Thelen, earning her board certification was all about commitment. Commitment to her patients and commitment to her profession. Providing excellent patient care is her top priority and achieving and maintaining board certification is the best way to stay up-to-date on the most relevant changes and new information in optometric care.
Dr. Thelen graduated from Southern College of Optometry in 2013 and completed her residency training at Omni Eye Services in Atlanta, Georgia. She has been caring for patients at Emory University for over three years now and sees a blend of routine care, glaucoma, post-op and triage cases. As part of a talented MD/OD team at Emory, Dr. Thelen has the opportunity to work with medical students and share her passion for the profession. She also embraces many volunteer opportunities that come her way, most recently participating in a Remote Area Medical (RAM) mission trip in Gloucseter, Virginia.
To her, the importance of board certification is clear. “Board Certification is the only Optometric credential recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and is designed to be equivalent to the American Board of Medical Specialties,” said Dr. Thelen. “Being able to tell your patients you are ‘Board Certified’ means you are doing more than the minimum to practice. In fact, you are among only 10% of optometrists who have chosen to make the commitment to career-long learning. It’s a special title and patients know it. As an individual it allows me to stand out!”
Dr. Thelen has taken her commitment to board certification to the next level and was elected to ABO’s board of directors in 2018 as an at-large member. Currently, she serves as the social media director and provides valuable insight and support for all board initiatives and future direction. Dr. Thelen considers it an honor to give back to the profession through her role on the ABO board and loves engaging with colleagues through her informative and often witty social media posts.
Caring for her patient’s eye health is a top priority for Dr. Thelen, but edging that out for the number one spot is her family. When not seeing patients and helping them to live better lives, she is relishing her role as a wife, mom of two and lucky caretaker of their furry yellow lab. Quality time with family and friends is at the top of her list and they can often be found in the North Georgia Mountains enjoying the scenery, lakes and hiking trails. And if there is a little extra time to squeeze in, she may do a little painting and cooking as well.
We applaud Dr. Thelen’s commitment to provide the best possible care for her patients and appreciate her willingness to share in and support ABO’s mission of providing quality eye care to the public through board certification and continuous learning.
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By going through the voluntary process of becoming board certified, our diplomates demonstrate competence beyond entry level.