About - Dr. Dorothy Erin Mark
I think one misconception out there is that affordable and convenient eye care cannot also be comprehensive. Many people think that you get what you pay for, and often, it is not much. I donít believe that is true. I think good eye care is always thorough and personalized no matter where you get it or how much you pay for it. Some patients will tell me that they didnít realize so much testing was involved in an eye exam. The most rewarding part of this profession for me is educating my patients about the reasons yearly eye exams are so important, not only to their vision but also to their overall health.
I was not planning on becoming an optometrist when I entered the University of North Florida for my first semester as a college freshman. I was an education major excited about teaching third or fourth grade one day. Yet, I had always liked science and felt like a profession based in biology would be challenging and always interesting to me. I thought back to my experience with my own eye care (since I first needed glasses in the fifth grade) and remembered the frustration poor vision or uncomfortable contacts had given me over the years. Of course, now I realize how much of an art and a science fitting contact lenses can be. It was the combination of my interest in science and the desire to make eye care an educational and exceptional experience for patients that led me to optometry school.
Since I had lived in North Florida my entire life, I decided on the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry. I remember the stress and excitement of completing my first graded eye examination and receiving my white coat in a ceremony afterward. After graduation, I moved back to Jacksonville and took a position with Val-u-vision. In the seven years since, I have learned many things that school did not teach me. One valuable lesson I learned during one of my externships was how to explain eye conditions to patients in the plainest of terms. After four years of spouting out words I could barely spell, I was forced to think of how those terms sound to a patient. I am reminded of this daily and really try to put myself in the shoes of the person sitting across from me.
I want each of my patients to feel like they are included in the care of their eyes and vision. Eye care is so personal because it affects quality of life and everything we do. I love when a patient is fascinated by seeing the back of their eyes for the first time with the Optomap retinal scan, or the enthusiasm of a multi-focal contact lens patient when they realize they can actually see without glasses. The best part of my job is pleasantly surprising patients by pairing them with the best option for their vision correction; maybe an option they never considered before or didnít think would work for them. This profession can certainly be challenging at times and requires ongoing individual learning. Yet in the end, itís usually the most challenging cases that provide the most growth and education for me and also reinforce my decision to become an optometrist.
Erin Mark, O.D.
2000-04 Doctor of Optometry, University of Missouri - St. Louis, MO
1996-00 Majored in Biology, University of North Florida
1992-96 Diploma, St. Joseph Academy
Degrees and Licenses:
National Board Examination -
Part I - Passed, August 2001
Part II - Passed, December 2003
Part III - Passed, May 2004
Licensure - Florida, August 2005
Mar-May 2004 Dr. Jack Yager, Orlando, FL, Primary care and contact lenses.
Jan-Feb 2004 Veterans Administration Medical Center, Marion, IL, Institutional-based optometry and multidisciplinary scope of practice, co-management of surgical and medical patients, ocular disease.
Oct-Dec 2003 Moorey/Mulqueeny Eye Center; St. Louis, MO, Primary care, contact lenses, co-management of refractive surgery patients, ocular disease.
Aug-Oct 2003 St. Louis Community Services, St. Louis, MO, Primary care, ocular disease.
Jun-Aug 2003 Dr. Ronald Bateman, Ft. Collins, CO, Pediatric/Binocular vision and vision therapy.
May-Jun 2003 Optometric Center, St. Louis, MO, Primary care, ocular disease, nursing home optometric care, low vision.
Professional Activities and Organizations:
Florida Optometric Association - Member
American Optometric Association - Member
Working Part Time at the IM Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless
Northeast Florida Optometric Society - Member
The Jane M. Wynn Award from Vision Is Priceless Council, Inc., June 2009
High Pass on Honors Portfolio upon completion of UNF Honors program, May 1998
Induction into UNF Golden Key Honor Society, 1998
UNF Dean's List, Fall 1996-Spring 1998