Dr. William Atkinson found a passion for the sciences when he was attending Pleasant Plains High School, and began to search for ways he could help people using biology, chemistry, and physics. He landed on optometry, a field in which he remains excited to come to work every day.
Dr. Atkinson completed his undergraduate degree in 1988 in biology at Springfield College in Illinois and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Upon graduating, he went on to the Illinois College of Optometry, where he received his O.D. in 1992. He then started practicing at Woodstock Eye Care and Pearle Vision, and opened Atkinson Eye Care with his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Atkinson, in 1994.
Dr. William enjoys practicing primary eye care, where he can see patients of all ages and needs and develops a relationship with them over the years. He is especially interested in fitting specialty contacts, such as Ortho K lenses that reduce nearsightedness in children, or bifocal contacts in patients who have been told that wearing contacts is an impossibility.
Dr. Atkinson recalls one of his favorite patient stories about fitting contacts in a 40-year-old patient whom he had seen for many years:
“One eye was severely scarred from a car accident that this patient suffered as a teenager. We were not able to correct the vision in that eye with traditional glasses or contacts, so he settled for treating the good eye while ignoring the other. Recently, we did some extra topographical scanning of his cornea, and decided that we would try fitting him in scleral contacts that could create a new optical surface. When the contacts were first on, he walked around the office with a huge smile on his face, exclaiming ‘wow!’ over and over. He turned to me and said, ‘I don’t think you realize what this means to me. This completely changes my life. I now have 3D vision and can get my CDL! This will change my whole family’s life because it will allow me to get a better job.’ That experience was one of the most rewarding moments of my career.”
In addition, Dr. Atkinson is passionate about providing in-home eye care, where he visits patients’ homes if it is too difficult for them to come in to the office. Usually, these patients are older, and in some cases, have not had an eye exam in years. Helping these individuals always comes with immense gratitude and Dr. Atkinson is thankful to provide such a service.
Outside of work, Dr. Atkinson enjoys an active lifestyle, including running, biking, and playing golf. When travelling, he prefers hiking, backpacking, and camping in the mountains. His hobbies are woodworking, cooking, and trying new cuisines by attending cooking classes. He is involved with Springbrook Community Church where he leads a small group bible study.
Dr. Atkinson and his wife have three children: Carolyn, 19; Jamie, 22; and David, 24. They are on the verge of becoming empty-nesters.
Dr. William Atkinson wonders at the advancement in his field and has a passion for helping his patients with new technology. He appreciates the opportunity to help underprivileged patients and those who have all but lost hope.