In the beginning…

n his inaugural blog, Dr. Price Kloess, founder and Medical Director of the Alabama Vision Center, shares information about eye care in general and how he came to this great profession.  Alabama Vision Center is the leader in our community for Cataract, Cornea and Refractive (LASIK) procedures.  We invite your comments and look forward to interacting with you in the new blogging adventure!

I was born and raised in Birmingham.  While I have lived elsewhere at times and have traveled broadly, I have always considered Birmingham my home.  So it was only natural that when I finished my time in the United States Air Force in 1994 as an ophthalmologist, I returned to Birmingham to start a private practice.
I come from a wonderful family and have three brothers.  My father is an attorney and to my knowledge, there are no doctors in our family.  We all travel different paths and I believe are influenced by myriad people and experiences that help shape who we become.  I’m not really sure how or why I became a medical doctor.  I remember vividly my father speaking highly of the profession and I sort of always thought I would be one.  For a 5th grade autobiography assignment,  I wrote about being a doctor and never waivered from that idea. While the journey was long and challenging, I realized my professional dream and truly love what I do.
As to Ophthalmology (a doctor specializing in comprehensive medical and surgical eye care), I remember well my third year of medical school when it was time to figure out exactly what type of doctor to be.  Sight is our most precious sense and I was intrigued with the thought of actually helping people regain and maintain their sight.  I loved medicine and surgery and the field of Ophthalmology offered a good balance of both.  Finally, a few months spent working with ophthalmologists and I was hooked!
After a general ophthalmology residency, I chose to pursue a fellowship in Cornea at Emory University and hence, concentrate my practice on procedures such as LASIK, cataract and corneal surgery.  I had attended UAB Medical School on an Air Force scholarship and after fulfilling my obligation as their Cornea Chief, I returned to Birmingham to start a private practice.  I am grateful for the incredible experience I received in the Air Force and at Emory . I trained with some of the best minds in ophthalmology and patients were flown in from all over the world for our care at Wilford Hall, the leading eye center for the Air Force.
I moved my family from San Antonio to Birmingham in 1994 and started a private practice.  We have enjoyed being a part of this wonderful community and it has been gratifying to see the practice grow literally by leaps and bounds.  We now have three main offices (Mountain Brook, Greystone and Shelby County), three satellite offices (Jasper, Gardendale and Clanton), three ophthalmologists, two optometrists, and 35 of the best staff a doctor could ever hope for.  While we have become the largest provider of Cataract and LASIK surgery, we are also one of the busiest research facilities in Alabama with 10 active FDA protocols evaluating new bifocal and astigmatism implants for cataract surgery as well a new eye medications …all of which are of great benefit to our patients.
Thanks for your indulgence with my first blog installment.  As its author, I thought it appropriate to know a bit of my background.  I promise that future blogs will be about you and important eye related topics.   Please forward any questions, comments, or ideas for future discussions.
Have a great and restful weekend and if you get a chance, attend the Regions Golf Tournament this weekend at Shoal Creek.  It is a beautiful venue.  Also, mark your calendars for Saturday June 23rd, for  the St Vincent’s Health and Wellness Center Health Fair.  It is a great event with free food, health screenings, and fun for the entire family.  Call 205-991-2021 for more information.

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