Pediatric Ophthalmologist: S. Grace Prakalapakorn, MD, MPH

I’m Grace Prakalapakorn,
my patients call me Dr. Grace. I’m an assistant professor in
ophthalmology and pediatrics here at Duke. My practice is mainly 75% children
that come in for any type of eye exam, if they have any eye problems or
just for a vision check. I also see about 25%
adults with strabismus and strabismus is any misalignment of the eyes
or if they have any double vision. I really just enjoy my interaction with
the patients, especially the kids, and watching them grow up. The fun thing about any pediatrics
specialty is that your patients come back to you year after year, and the hardest
thing is actually saying goodbye to them when they’re too old to actually
still come to see you in your practice. I really enjoy working with children, children are such a fun population
of people to work with. Patients are very resilient, they’re always a lot of fun
regardless of what’s going on. They have a great outlook on life. When I work with children and especially
when I have a new child coming to my clinic, the first thing I do is
really try to get them comfortable, because a lot of kids will come
to see you more than once. Most kids will ask you the first
time they come in, if they’re like, this is your eye doctor,
are you gonna give me a shot today? But we try to reassure them that
we’re gonna play a lot of games and we’re just gonna take a look at them and
just see how their eyes are doing. And if you make it fun, the kids
actually have a fun time coming back and they actually enjoy seeing you. As a physician, I feel I’ve been most inspired by
the international work I’ve done. So I do a lot of work overseas and I enjoy
doing kind of things in public health. It kind of brings kind of the reason
you wanted to go into medicine, it makes it very real to you. You kind of see in the big world
what kind of an impact you can make. So I really enjoy my one on one
interaction with patients but I also like to see what I could do to make a bigger
impact on more than just one child.

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