Elick Combs, O.D.
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN
(Vice President of the Pre-Optometry Student Organization)
Doctor of Optometry
Southern College of Optometry
“We were kind of a community, if I had a patient that I needed help treating, I could easily go down the hall and consult with another O.D. or M.D. and we’d tackle it together. I liked that aspect of it very much.”
Elick Combs, O.D., believes it’s imperative for any eye care practice to stay at the forefront of the latest innovations in the field in order to provide top-quality eye care. That, among other reasons, is why Drs. Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun is the perfect fit for him.
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 is what Dr. Combs truly takes pride in. As a board-certified Optometrist, Dr. Combs offers comprehensive eye exams, disease screening and management, glasses and contact lens prescriptions, and much more for his patients in East Tennessee.
Dr. Combs was born in Chicago, Illinois but moved with his family to Sevierville, Tennessee at a young age. He enjoyed playing basketball for a time in school, but he soon traded shooting hoops for strumming guitar strings thanks to a flourishing love of music. To this day, he enjoys having a guitar in his lap as often as he can find the time.
When Dr. Combs realized his musical aspirations weren’t an ideal way to pay the bills, he decided to give his career trajectory more thought. The medical field became the frontrunner, but he wasn’t quite sure which direction to take at first. While Dr. Combs was attending Walters State Community College in Sevierville, his parents prompted him to shadow a family friend who was an Optometrist. Dr. Combs admits he was very reluctant at first, but he succumbed to his parents’ wishes and followed through with the shadowing. To his surprise, Optometry entailed far more than he originally expected. His reluctance quickly shifted to eagerness.
“As I was watching him throughout the day, it was pulling me in,” Dr. Combs said. “It just felt right. I shadowed him a lot more after that, 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.”
Dr. Combs completed his undergrad at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, followed by attending Southern College of Optometry in Memphis. He soon returned to East Tennessee upon completion of his studies and began working at a practice 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 consult with another O.D. or M.D. and we’d tackle it together. I liked that aspect of it very much.”
He found that same aspect and then some at Drs. Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun. All too often, it takes a ‘village’ of skilled medical professionals to provide the most benefit when it comes to something as precious as your vision.
“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, we can refer out as needed. I just like being able to provide whatever the patient needs to ensure they have the best possible care.”
Yet another major draw that led Dr. Combs to join Drs. Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun is the practice’s unending commitment to staying on top of advancements in technology and treatment methods in an ever-evolving field.
“They’re highly knowledgeable,” he said of the doctors and staff. “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 proudly brings experience in myopia management, scleral lenses, and multi-focal contact lenses to the practice, but he also focuses on all facets of general Optometry for his growing patient base.
As a proud member of the Powell community, Dr. Combs truly understands the importance of neighborhood-based eye care. The overall pleasant location, proximity to a variety of amenities, and evident sense of community help make Powell and all of East Tennessee the ideal home for Dr. Combs and his family.
“Powell is such a nice in-between where I can be in a city environment or more of a country environment anytime I feel the urge,” he said. “I really like that. There’s also a great sense of community, which my family and I really enjoy.”
Dr. Combs will see patients at our EyeCare Optical location at Emory Road scheduled to open in the spring of 2023.
When Dr. Combs and his wife aren’t dining at their favorite local restaurants, they keep busy taking care of their two young boys. And he still loves to break out his trusty guitar and squeeze in a tune here and there, which he’ll tell you is like riding a bike for him.
“At those times that I’m really busy and I put my guitar down, I thankfully don’t lose too much,” he laughed. “I may get a bit rusty, but I still have the knowledge.”