Jessica Thornton, OD
What do you enjoy doing when not at work?
You’ll normally find me outside- trying to conquer my next hike, cross-country skiing, or backpacking a new route! But I also love relaxing on the couch with a movie or playing board games at home.
I have two furry felines at home, Whiskey and Henle. They are both visually impaired from being born with the herpes feline virus, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to rule the house. Henle is completely blind and Whiskey has one eye.
What do you love about practicing Optometry?
I love the big impact that can be made on a patients’ life, which is something I experienced first hand. I received my first pair of glasses when I was 12 and like many patients, didn’t realize how bad my vision was until that day. I still remember how it felt to see the landscape for the first time clearly on the car ride home. Nothing beats the feeling of giving this experience back to my patients.
I graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2014 with a Bachelors of Science in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. I graduated from Pacific University College of Optometry in 2018 with a Doctorate in Optometry and a Masters degree in Education. In 2019 I completed a residency in ocular disease at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center.
Best thing about living in Alaska?
The sheer, incredible magnitude of the nature, the seasons, and the opportunities to explore them. I like to say that Alaska is all best things from the Lower 48 but bigger and with less people.
Fun fact about you?
Every year on or before my birthday I try to cross another item off my bucket list. They can be small things (like doing a pull-up) to large things (like traveling to see the freshwater Amazon dolphins)!
What do you wish you could tell every patient?
Don’t stress about the refraction (aka, the “which is better, 1 or 2” test). Many patients (myself included) worry that they aren’t making the right choice or fear they are “failing”. This process is meant to get the best prescription possible for your eyes and is not meant to be stressful or to trick you. Just answer honestly (even if they truly look the same) and it will all work out awesome!
Why do you like working at Wolf Eye Center?
I love the collaborative work environment, the family atmosphere, and of course the diverse patient experiences. My day can involve anything from seeing a child for their first exam, to fitting contact lenses, to treating ocular disease, and everything in between. There’s never a dull moment at Wolf!