Meet Dr. Shirley Leoni: Interview with Top Optometrist in Florida

optometrist miami

Did you always want to be an optometrist when you were growing up?
I always found joy in helping others and naturally gravitated towards the healthcare field. My passion for optometry only began when my mother was diagnosed with keratoconus at a routine eye exam. Through her journey with glasses, RGPs, and scleral lenses, I was able to truly understand the impact optometrists can have on quality of life through a patient’s perspective. My passion for the field has grown exponentially since then.


What were some of your favorite subjects in school?
My favorite subjects were biology and psychology.  


What is it that drives your passion in the field of optometry?
My patients! I am fortunate to be a part of a niche practice that is focused on recovering vision, in sometimes complex cases, by nonsurgical means in addition to an emphasis on improving comfort with the latest dry eye therapies. I regularly see patients who cannot tolerate conventional lenses and do incredibly well with custom lenses, such as RGP contact lenses and scleral lenses. I recently had a young patient excitedly describe her experience with orthokeratology, an overnight corneal reshaping contact lens, as “magic” and it made my day! Patient satisfaction, coupled with improving health and quality of life is very rewarding for me. I love making a positive difference in my patients’ lives.



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What are your favorite things to do when you aren’t in the office?
My most favorite thing to do is spend time with my family, I have a young daughter that I absolutely adore. I also love to cook, travel, and further my education by participating in local optometric society meetings to stay up to date on the latest treatments, technology and research.


What would say to a person who is hesitant about scheduling an appointment with you?
Finding a new provider who is a great fit for you isn’t always easy. That first step involves a great deal of trust and vulnerability. I try to make my patients comfortable by providing them with a judgment-free space to address all their concerns. Together, we can discuss all treatment/management options and work together toward a common goal. I hope my patients always feel that it is okay to ask questions so that they can feel empowered to take an active role in their care plan.


What do you think makes you unique in comparison to other optometrists?
I provide patients with a unique, tailored ocular evaluation that many modern providers are unable to deliver. Our office uses the most cutting-edge technology available, from specialty lenses, to dry eye treatments, to genetic testing. Having these at my fingertips is a tremendous advantage in testing and treating a wide range of conditions that simply is not available in most optometry practices. I focus on the patient experience. It is my goal to provide you with a comprehensive, efficient, and enjoyable experience.


Is there a particular development in the field optometry that you’re looking forward to learning more about?
There is so much to look forward to in the field! New developments in the field of presbyopia, anterior surface disease treatments, scleral lenses, myopia management, and cosmetic contact lenses. It is delightful to witness  research coming to life as new developments are released for the benefit of our patients!


Testimonial from Madeline, Satisfied Patient of Dr. Leoni
I saw Dr. Shirley for the first time for an annual eye exam and it was a great experience. She was very kind and knowledgeable and informed me on the health of my eyes being a contact lens and eyeglasses wearer. She ensured me that my eyes were very healthy and advised on best practices to help alleviate dry eyes. There wasn’t much of a wait at all, I was in and out in about an hour if not a slightly over an hour. I would definitely recommend her to anyone in need of a good eye doctor in the Miami area!

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