Skip to main content

Leadership Personified: Dr. Scott Burks



We take great pride in the success of our graduates, many of whom have become leaders in their state, if not nationally.  One graduate who exemplifies leadership is Dr. Scott Burks (’02).  Like so many UMSL graduates, his motivation to pursue optometry came from gaining experience beforehand while at Drury University. “While an undergrad I was able to do a semester as an intern at Missouri Eye Institute in Springfield, MO.  After starting there, I quickly came to appreciate what optometry was and that it was the field for me,” commented Burks. 
Scott had many reasons in making UMSL College of Optometry his choice to pursue his optometric education.  “When I was applying to optometry schools I was looking for a school where the class size was small.  I feel this creates a better learning environment and it helps you develop more personal and professional relationships with your classmates and professors.  These relationships helped me in school and I still enjoy them today 15 years after graduation,” Burks said.
Upon graduation in 2002 he joined the practice of Buffalo and Marshfield Eye Clinics, which is owned by two doctors, Dr. David Kramer and Dr. Rex Newcomb(’84). The practice emphasized the importance of being involved in the profession.  Dr. Newcomb has served as past president of the Missouri Optometric Association, past president of the Missouri Optometric Foundation, and past president of the Greater Ozarks Optometric Association.



In addition, Newcomb received the University of Missouri-St. Louis Distinguished Alumni Award and he was the recipient of the prestigious “Missouri Optometrist of the Year” award. 



Dr. Burks also became a leader both in the state of Missouri and beyond because he had this opportunity to work with good role models. He is very active in the American Optometric Association and the Missouri Optometric Foundation and he has recently served as President of the Missouri Optometric Association after serving as President of the Greater Ozark Optometric Society.  His efforts and service to the profession gain recognition by his peers through the awarding of the Missouri Optometric Association’s, “Young Optometrist of the Year”. 
Continuing this trend Dr. Burks has been a very good mentor to the youngest member of the Buffalo and Marshfield Eye Clinics team, Dr. Shawn Yarnell (’10). Yarnell, a former class president at the College of Optometry, has followed the examples of her peers by recently serving as President of the Greater Ozarks Optometric Society. She is appreciative of what Dr. Burks has meant to her career. “I joined Scott's practice as a new practitioner, and through these several years we have worked together, he has been a great example of a true leader in optometry.   From being on the MOA board for several years as well as being actively involved in other optometric and local organizations, Scott is constantly ensuring optometry remains a desirable, respectable profession,” commented Yarnell.   She also appreciates his openness and availability to discuss clinical cases in our office, as he always offers great insight.
Scott is appreciative of the role his wife Karen has played in his professional career. “Karen has been active with the MOA Auxiliary and their yearly scholarship for Missouri optometry students.   She probably loves the profession as much as I do,” said Burks. 
Burks also feels a commitment to serve his community, his country, and his alma mater. He has served as past president of the Rotary Club within his community and served as an Optometry Officer in the Missouri Army National Guard for eight years.  The College of Optometry has benefitted from his commitment to the new Patient Care Center capital campaign.  It is evident that his service to the community and to the profession will continue long into the future.  He currently serves on the VisionUSA Committee for the American Optometric Association and is president-elect for the North Central States Optometric Council.  His goal is an admirable one, “By serving in various positions over the years I hope to have strengthened the profession for current and future doctors,” commented Burks.


Dr. Scott and Karen Burks

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Farewell and Good Luck Class of 2017

Farewell, Young Doctors. Go Be The Vision. Dear Class of 2017;
This was Nick's final email email to the Class of 2017 on Thursday, May 11, 2017.—23,890+ emails later… Today, May 12, 2017 they graduate as Doctor's of Optometry.  Please indulge me for a bit… If I were to give your commencement address…Here is what I would have to say to each of you and to be honest—I don’t like goodbyes, so this will help capture my thoughts and feelings.  Today, we celebrate your commencement.  Cheers- Nick
This is all because of you.
Four years ago each of you began a journey together—not knowing what to expect or what to do, but you quickly learned the next four years would be a challenge.  Through it all though, you stood tough.  Quite frankly, it wasn’t always easy and I am sure moments questioning your decision crossed your mind—maybe more than once.  Always remember this: If it was meant to be easy then everyone would be here, but that is not the case.  You are one of a small group of dedicat…

A Profile of Dr. David Hoel; The Story about an UMSL Alumnus Who Cares

There are many desirable qualities for individuals being considered for admission into the UMSL College of Optometry.  Certainly, a solid academic record, good interpersonal communication skills, and extensive shadowing – or better yet experience – with established optometric practices are important factors.  However, looking into the eyes of an applicant to try to determine why they want to be an optometrist is very important as well.  Will they be the type of individual who will be very dedicated to caring about their patient’s visual and overall health?  Will they take the time to serve their profession and their community?  Meet David Hoel, OD (’98) who personifies these qualities and more as he continues to be a wonderful ambassador to UMSL while representing what is truly good about the profession of optometry.
His interest in optometry began during college when he explored several career options and, after shadowing several different optometrists, decided this would be an excel…

Gorder selected as March 2017 Student Spotlight:

Gorder provides excellence in patient care...
Every month the Office of Student Services with the College of Optometry seeks nomination from the faculty, staff, and students of the college in an effort to recognize one student who exemplifies our student body.  This month's recipient is a true reflection on what we look for in a student at UMSL College of Optometry.
The Student Spotlight for March 2017 is:
Molly Gorder  (Class of 2017) Molly was chosen as March 2017 Student Spotlight winner because of her care for patients. Here is what her nominator said:
"I have had many patients this rotation remark on the job that Molly Gorder has done working with them. She has a quiet, friendly spirit and shows the patients she really cares.
 She is always ready to take on patients. I see her looking up items in the consult room to verify her thoughts. She is very thoughtful about her patient care. She always has a smile on her face.
Molly is ready to fill in if another student is absent, she …