Diplomate Spotlight – Mark Shirey, OD

October 27, 2023
Mark Shirey

Mark Shirey always knew he wanted to be a doctor but started his career as a microbiologist! He found it fascinating but isolating and yearned for patient contact. He took a part time job with an optometrist in Mobile, AL just to see what optometry was like. He loved it and began the process of career change enrolling at Southern College of Optometry. While in optometry school Dr. Shirey received The Outstanding Clinician Award in his second and fourth years and the Bausch & Lomb Surgical Award.

Following optometry school, he did externships at a VA hospital setting in Johnson City Tennessee and a small private practice in Northeast Alabama.

Dr. Shirey has been the CEO of Southern Vision Care in Mobile, AL since 2005. Southern Vision Care is a very medically oriented practice covering a wide range of ocular disease as well as general optometry. He says his decision to become board certified in 2011 “just really fit in with the culture of my practice. Our practice is about 60% medical. I have a strong interest in managing ocular disease. My patients like the fact that we use the latest technology and treatments. Becoming Board Certified is a way to show my patients a credential that demonstrates that I have exceeded the basic requirements to be an optometrist. I can only speak for myself, but I think it keeps me on my toes. I’m continuing to learn and enhance my diagnostic skills.”

He is a long-standing member member of the AOA and ALOA and served as president of the ALOA. He has presented lectures ranging from billing and coding to advanced imaging and spent time on Alcon’s speaker’s bureau. He was awarded the Young Optometrist of the Year in 2008 by the ALOA. During his time as President of the association they were able to pass a “non-covered services bill” and tax regulations dealing with products and how they are taxed in his state.

As an ABO Ambassador, he spreads awareness and promotes the benefits of Board Certification to potential candidates in Alabama.

Dr. Shirey was involved in the Alabama state legislative process for several years. A fellow optometrist who was a state senator decided not to run for another term. Losing a “seat at the table” and the representative in his district deciding not to seek another term was the perfect storm to nudge him to run for office. Thanks to support from his fellow optometrists in the state and across the nation he was elected Representative for Alabama House District 100.

In December, he and his wife Mary will celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary. They share a daughter, Cate, who just graduated from the University of Alabama with a Communications degree. In his spare time, he enjoys golf, hunting and fishing. He is a certified scuba diver and has several hours of flight training under his belt. At some point (when he is not working two jobs), he will finish his private pilot’s license. Thank you, Dr. Shirey, for your ongoing support of board certification and The American Board of Optometry.

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