Eye Florida – Board-Certified Ophthalmologist
Famous writer Fyodor Dostoevsky has a quote about serendipity and chance encounters: “We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.” It was this very chance encounter over twenty years ago with the late Dr. Jorge Camara that would guide Dr. Ly Nguyen’s future in ophthalmology.
When looking back at Dr. Nguyen’s life, many signs point to her professional calling in the field of ophthalmology. When she was a child growing up in the countryside in Hue, Vietnam, she developed night blindness due to severe malnutrition. While studying at University of Hawai’i John A. Burns School of Medicine, she found out her father needed cataract surgery. Scary as these experiences were then, it allowed her to truly appreciate the gift of healthy eyes and vision.
Dr. Nguyen came to the United States at a young age as a refugee. Like most immigrants, her family faced many challenges while settling in America. They lived in poverty and move from state to state seeking jobs and opportunities. Still, Dr. Nguyen was able to graduate high school as salutatorian and eventually secured prestigious scholarships for college and medical school.
With Dr. Camara as her mentor, she developed an aptitude for patient care and medical research. Together with other international ophthalmology residents, Dr. Nguyen published articles in prominent ophthalmology journals about a new finding in the use of a computer-assisted image-guided system (InstaTrak) in surgery. Dr. Nguyen completed her residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center where she received a Resident Research Award. While in residency Dr. Nguyen published articles in peer-reviewed journals including the American Journal of Ophthalmology and Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
After graduating, Dr. Nguyen practiced as an associate at Mittleman Eye Center. Needing work-life balance as a mother to her young son she started her own private practice, St. Cloud Eye Center, in an underserved community of Central Florida with a focus on exceptional patient care. St. Cloud Eye Center later became Eye Florida, and since has expanded to a third location in a 5,000-square-feet state of the art eye clinic within the Orlando Health St. Cloud Regional Medical Office Building.
As a board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Nguyen specializes in cataract, oculoplastics, glaucoma, and minimally invasive eye surgery including facial rejuvenation procedures. Eye Florida offers comprehensive services, include routine eye exams, screening for eye disease, and testing—always with a focus on exceptional patient care.
When Dr. Nguyen is not working, she is dedicated to giving back to her community. She contributes as a board members for the Orlando Health St. Cloud Board of Trustee and the An Bang Professional organization. She believes it is important to inspire the new generation, and that is by sharing her time and knowledge with aspiring young professionals. Two of her University of Central Florida College of Medicine mentees were recently selected to present a research paper at the Women in Ophthalmology Annual Meeting 2020 titled, “Postoperative outcome of cataract surgery with history of diabetes mellitus and socioeconomic status.”
One lifelong goal is to write a memoir about her family’s escape from Vietnam in the 1980s and their journey through Hong Kong’s refugee camp. “These memories are stories of where we came from. These are important lessons of hope, determination, success and giving back.” Reflecting on her life’s journey so far, she shares the words of Nelson Mandela: “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”