Staying at the forefront of the latest innovations is essential for any practice in providing top- quality eye care for its patients. For Elick Combs, O.D., that’s exactly why Drs. Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun is the perfect fit for him, among several other reasons.
Dr. Combs delights in being part of a community of medical professionals who share a common goal of striving to meet whatever needs a patient has as far as their vision is concerned. Dr. Combs is a Board-Certified Optometrist offering comprehensive eye exams, disease screening and management, glasses and contact lens prescriptions, and much more for his East Tennessee patients.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Combs moved with his family to Sevierville, Tennessee at a young age. While he enjoyed playing basketball for a time in school, he soon traded shooting hoops for strumming guitar strings when he discovered his draw to music. To this day, Dr. Combs enjoys having a guitar in his lap as often as time allows.
When he realized playing tunes wasn’t an ideal way to pay the bills, despite how much he enjoyed it, Dr. Combs decided to get serious about his career trajectory. He set his sights on the medical field but wasn’t quite sure which direction to take at first. While attending Walters State Community College in Sevierville, he was urged by his parents to shadow a family friend who was an Optometrist. Though very reluctant at first, Dr. Combs succumbed to his parents’ wishes and followed through with the shadowing. To his surprise, Optometry was far more than he originally expected, and his reluctance quickly shifted to eagerness.
“As I was watching him throughout the day, it just was pulling me in,” Dr. Combs said. “It just felt right. I shadowed him a bunch more, and that’s when it clicked – ok, Optometry is for me. It’s a career where one can support their family, but it’s also a very moral job where I can hold my head up high.”
After completing his undergrad at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Dr. Combs attended Southern College of Optometry in Memphis. He returned to his beloved East Tennessee when his studies were complete and immediately began working in Oak Ridge. There, he gained valuable knowledge working alongside Ophthalmologists.
“We were kind of a community,” Dr. Combs said. “If I had a patient that I needed help treating, I could easily go down the hall and grab another O.D. or M.D. and we’d tackle it together. So, I liked that aspect of it very much.”
Dr. Combs found that same aspect and then some with Drs. Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun. After all, it often takes a village of medical professionals to treat the big picture when it comes to something as precious as your vision.
“What I try to achieve the most is if I have a patient who needs something, I want to be able to provide it to them, whether it’s through me or one of my colleagues I know personally,” Dr. Combs said. “I like to keep things as in-house as much as I can but, of course, can refer out as needed. I just like being able to provide whatever the patient needs to ensure they have the best care possible.”
Another thing that attracted him to the practice is the unending commitment to stay on top of advancements in technology and treatment methods in this ever-evolving field.
“They’re highly knowledgeable,” he said of the doctors and staff at Drs. Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun. “It’s an obvious desire of theirs to stay on top of the now, whether that’s new research or data that’s coming out.”
Dr. Combs brings with him experience in myopia management, scleral lenses, and multi-focal contact lenses, though all facets of general Optometry make up his practice.
He’s also a proud member of the Powell community, so he understands the importance neighborhood-based eye care. The beautiful location, proximity to a plethora of amenities, and strong sense of community make Powell and East Tennessee a place he and his family love to call home.
“The thing that we really like about Powell is that it’s such a nice in-between where I can be in a city environment or more of a country environment if I want,” Dr. Combs said. “I really like that. And there’s a great sense of community, which we really enjoy.”
Dr. Combs will begin seeing patients at our EyeCare Optical location at Emory Road set to open in the spring of 2023.
When Dr. Combs and his wife are not enjoying local eateries, a favorite pastime, they stay busy taking care of their two young boys and spending as much family time as possible. And, of course, he still likes to dust off his trusty guitar and squeeze in a tune any chance he can get, which is essentially like riding a bike for him.
“At those times that I’m really busy and I put my guitar down, I don’t lose too much, thankfully,” he laughed. “I may get a bit rusty, but I still have the knowledge there.”