“My patients don’t just benefit from my experience. They’re getting the whole team.”
You could say Dr. Kirk Haun has been around Ophthalmology all his life. For years, his father, Dr. Louis Haun, had his own practice in Maryville. From there, young Kirk earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, a medical degree from Vanderbilt, did his residency at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Hospital and has been practicing Ophthalmology for a number of years. “Even with all my personal experience,” he says, “it’s a benefit to me and my patients that we have three other ophthalmic surgeons, a Retina Specialist, four Optometrists and a talented staff. We have an amazing team here at Drs. Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor and Haun.”
Earlier in his schooling, Dr. Haun had considered becoming an EMT or getting into cardiology. “But I realized I wasn’t interested in working in a hospital all day, every day,” Haun says. “With Ophthalmology you can basically ‘see’ a problem and fix it. I also like the high success rate and instant gratification provided by patients who are extremely happy with the results of our efforts. And, of course, there’s something special about following in your dad’s footsteps,” he says with a smile. “Drs. Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun is the ideal situation for me.”
After medical school, Dr. Haun went through the challenging process of becoming a Fellow of American College of Surgeons, a distinction that allows him access to surgeons across the country in a variety of specialties. “We have meetings every year to discuss new techniques, new technology, and which ones are helping patients to quicker recoveries following surgery. We have a brotherhood among all the surgeons and if I have a need and would like to talk to a particular surgeon, I can more freely do that. It’s a great thing to be a part of.”
Right after his residency, Dr. Haun was asked to join his father Louis’ practice in Maryville. The elder Dr. Haun was suffering from cancer, a heart attack and was in great need of his son’s help. “Those were busy days,” recalls Dr. Kirk Haun. “I had a wife and new baby and was helping Dad deal with new laws and regulations while covering for him when he was going through treatments and surgeries for his ailments. I was young, but sometimes that’s a great opportunity to learn early. It taught me that being a physician is more than just simply learning medicine and surgery. It’s also about being responsible and cognizant that I have employees, patients and a family that rely on me to do things properly, ethically and the best that they can be done.”
Drs. Haun and Haun operated their practice together in Maryville for four years. Then, in 2000, they merged with Campbell, Cunningham & Taylor to form the practice known today as Drs. Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun.
“The merge couldn’t have gone better,” says Dr. Haun. “I knew all the surgeons and doctors with their practice and was very comfortable with them. I also knew I wanted the backup capability of having another surgeon who could see patients in the event that my dad or I could not. With this team, we have an incredible amount of resources to give exceptional care to all our patients.”
“I treat patients for cataract, diabetic, dry eye, glaucoma and other common eye conditions,” says Haun. “Probably the most common is cataract. I see a lot of patients who literally come in and cannot see. They’re very worried, so often the first thing I do is convince them that an eye care professional might be able to reverse their vision loss. I also perform LASIK® surgery at the Campbell Cunningham Laser Center. I can’t describe how I feel when a patient returns with 20/20 vision and no longer requires reading glasses.”
“Surprisingly, there’s also a lot of satisfaction in helping those for whom complete recovery isn’t possible,” he says. “We can give them a sense of calm and a sense that we are capable of slowing their deterioration. At least they know they are in good hands.”
“Not long ago I treated a lady who was virtually blind with a severe cataract. She lived in a nursing home and had no family nearby. After a couple surgery visits, she was able to see very well but was uncomfortable asking for rides to her follow-up visits. She did agree to let me conduct follow-up visits at the nursing home. I think she was overwhelmed by how much we care.”
“Being a part of Drs. Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun culminates everything I wanted in a practice,” says Dr. Haun. “I believe it makes each of us more effective than we would be on our own. And to think, it might not have come about if it hadn’t been for a couple of old tennis buddies of mine,” he smiles. Those “buddies” were actually Drs. Ed Campbell and his son Dr. Philip Campbell. “I guess we figured if we could get along on the tennis court, we would probably make good partners in our Ophthalmology practice,” says Haun. “I’d say things worked out pretty well.”
For fun, Dr. Haun enjoys fly fishing, boating, vacations, golf and competing in triathlons (if you can call that fun). He also contributes his time and expertise to Remote Area Medical. Best of all is the time he spends with his wife and two children.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Haun or any one of our doctors, call (865) 584-0905.