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Residents & Fellows Spotlight: Jessica Liu, MD

Jessica Liu, MD

(Glaucoma Fellow)

Where are you from?

Omaha, NE

Where Where did you attend Medical School?

St. Louis University

Where did you complete your residency?

St. Louis University

Why did you choose Ophthalmology and your specialty?

I chose ophthalmology after working with an eye surgeon in a Tibetan province of China for 7 weeks when I was 20 years old. It meant so much to me to see how a single cataract surgery, which seemed so “simple” could single-handedly reverse a burdensome cycle of parents/grandparents’ dependence on their children to be the sole breadwinners. Eliminating their blindness gave mothers and fathers a way to obtain jobs and provide for their families, which resulted in giving their children the opportunity to go back to school and receive an education.

Why did you choose WashU?

I chose WashU because I felt a special bond and connection on interview day. The glaucoma people were so humble despite their well accomplished vitae, and I truly felt like this is the family I want to have for the rest of my career.

Favorite memory of your residency?

At SLU, we moved from the Anheuser Busch Institute to the new BIG hospital and had to leave a few things behind. Our phenomenal and irreplaceable program coordinator, Judee, left behind her favorite purple couch that had been the balm of everyone’s tush during conversations of life struggles/challenges and life accomplishments. The residents rallied together and CARRIED the couch. We loaded it into our attending’s van, and carried it through the new hospital hallways all the way to Judee’s new office. I’ll never forget the surprised look on her face!

What did you learn in your residency that impacted you the most?

Residency during a global pandemic changed a lot of things. But the most important lesson I learned was the example my seniors and attendings demonstrated each day-we never compromised or cut corners in the face of danger. The pandemic presented less than ideal circumstances, but we did not compromise the care our patients deserved. We remained thorough, covered for one another, and functioned together as a unit.

How did you survive during quarantine?

Perfecting the world’s BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE (see YouTube Tasty video by Alvin Zhou).

What excites you most about starting your fellowship at WashU?

Zonular dehiscence, MIGS, and angle closure. Just kidding! But not really-I love complex anterior segment and glaucoma surgery. I’m excited to learn from and train with the best in the field. Because we don’t have a cure for glaucoma, I also get to be life long friends with most of my patients, which in my book, is a total bonus.

What do you look forward to about living in St. Louis?

I have lived in STL for 12 years, and each year gets better and better. Aside from a growing waistline from the VERY extensive foodie list that my husband and I have perfected over the years, I’m most excited to enjoy walks in Tower Grove Park, tennis and paddle boating in Forest Park, and tandem biking adventures.