Dr. Kent Wolber

Celebrating the culmination of a career that has spanned over three decades, Dr. Kent Wolber, an optometrist with HQ Eyes, is saying goodbye as he enters retirement. In a recent interview, Dr. Wolber reflected on his journey, sharing the importance of gratitude, family, and the meaningful impact that a career devoted to Optometry has left on his life.

Dr. Wolber’s career path was guided by the wisdom of his father, who recognized his potential at a young age. Recalling his teenage years, Dr. Wolber fondly remembers a pivotal moment with his father that played a key role in determining his future.

“My dad was a huge influence on me. He came home one day after an eye exam and said, ‘I think I know what you might want to do — Optometry.’ I was 13 or 14 at the time,” Dr. Wolber shared. “At that age, you tend to take things for granted. I said, ‘To humor you, I’ll look into it and see where it ends.’ I’ve always given him credit.”

This conversation steered him away from his initial idea to work in Detroit’s automotive industry, ultimately paving the way for a rewarding and fulfilling career in Optometry.

Dr. Wolber earned his undergraduate degree from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois, and later obtained his Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. After completing his education, he was in search of his next step.

“I grew up on the Illinois/Wisconsin border and did not want to go back there because they had real winters. It doesn’t just get cold; it snows. It can snow an awful lot, and I did not want that,” he said with a laugh. “I had a friend in undergraduate school who was from Quincy, and I found some opportunities. I talked to him, and he said, ‘I think you would like it, and it’s a little bigger than Macomb, where we went to college.'”

In 1990, Dr. Wolber arrived in Hannibal, where he took over the ownership of a practice from a World War II veteran. Reflecting on this transition, he shared, “The previous owner was on the verge of closing the doors since no one had accepted his offer to purchase the practice. I was genuinely pleased to carry on his legacy, considering he had acquired the practice from a doctor who had served Hannibal for nearly 40 years.”

For the past five-and-a-half years, he has been part of Quincy Medical Group (QMG) and HQ Eyes. He expresses gratitude for the positive experience and the opportunity to be part of a team dedicated to helping people.

“The opportunity to work with folks that are like-minded has been wonderful. When you’re part of a team where the objective is to take care of people, then everything else falls into place,” he stated.

Throughout his career, Dr. Wolber said the importance of relationships with patients was always his priority. Each interaction presented an opportunity for him to offer support, sometimes extending beyond the realms of eye health and concerns.

“Every time you step through the exam room door, it’s a different setting, and you have to adjust accordingly,” he shared. “Sometimes you’re there, and you can sit back and relax and have a good conversation. And other times you listen to someone pour their heart out to you. It may not be about the eye exam at all. It may be about something else. That’s what we’re there for.”

As he anticipates retirement, Dr. Wolber’s future plans are still unfolding. However, what he is certain about is that he is embarking on this new chapter filled with gratitude and reflection.

“If I could do it all over again, I would. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I’ve gained valuable insights into the field of optometry and learned a tremendous amount about people. I consider myself truly blessed.”