Dr. Brist has recently retired but we encourage his patients to reach out to us to continue his excellent eye care traditions.
Dr. Brist has been caring for patients in the Eugene Springfield area for 43 years. He was born in Montana but raised in Forest Grove, Oregon a small farming community west of Portland.
Following graduation from Forest Grove High School he attended Oregon State University. Between high school and attending OSU he experienced his first vision exam. He was intrigued by the doctor’s patience, thoroughness, and the explanations of the tests he was doing and why.
“I started out wanting to be an accountant and was attending Oregon State with that goal in mind. After my first year I noticed that my distance vision wasn’t as clear as it had been and I was having trouble seeing the board in the larger classrooms.
When I returned home for the summer I had my first eye exam with an Optometrist in my home town of Forest Grove. I was very impressed with all of his testing and liked the way that he explained what he was doing and why. I was frustrated with the business program at OSU and started considering the option of returning home and resuming my studies at Pacific University with a goal of becoming an Optometrist. I loved math and physics and Optometry at the time was driven by these two disciplines.”
Dr. Brist transferred to Pacific University, also in Forest Grove, and started his studies with the goal of becoming an Optometrist. Following graduation from Pacific Dr. Brist served two years in the United States Navy and was stationed in Beufort, South Carolina where he treated active duty personnel as well as retired military families and Marine Corps recruits.
“I enjoy the problem-solving aspect. Every patient is different and has varying problems, goals and objectives. You have to listen, test, diagnose and then offer them solutions in the areas they are most concerned about. Initially, optics and the math are what intrigued me but as the profession evolved over forty years continuing education, enhanced instrumentation, and new skills offered a medical model to complement the optical model.”
Following his service in the Navy Dr. Brist returned to Oregon and found work in Eugene, working for Dr. Bob Ramp. It was while with Dr. Ramp that Dr. Brist refined his refractive skills with a special interest in patients with diplopia (double vision) as well as the art of adjusting glasses to optimize visual performance.
“I enjoy the problem-solving aspect. Every patient is different and has varying problems, goals, and objectives. You have to listen, test, diagnose, and then offer them solutions in the areas they are most concerned about. Initially, optics and the math are what intrigued me but as the profession evolved over forty years continuing education, enhanced instrumentation, and new skills offered a medical model to complement the optical model. I’m proud of the expansion of Optometry into the medical model with the addition of diagnostic and then therapeutic pharmaceutical agents. I’m also proud of the coordination of care between Ophthalmology and Optometry with both professions emphasizing their strengths for the better health care of the patient.”
Dr. Brist is an avid golfer, loves to spend time with his wife Barb and their dog Augie. His non-medical interests include gardening, flowers, and landscaping along with walking, hiking, and travel.
“Personally I’m proud of the fact that I get to help patients achieve a better life with the care we provide. I’m proud of the lifelong relationships I’ve shared with a dedicated base of patients in 45 years of practice.”
Because of this dedication to his patients and profession, Dr. Brist has received multiple recognitions and awards including:
Oregon Optometric Physicians Association: 1980 Young O.D. of the Year
2002 Joe Agost/James Minnick Award (for third party contributions)
2006 C.G. Carkner Award as Optometrist of the Year
Dr. Brist also currently serves as Credentialing Manager for Northwest Vision Associates an IPA of Ophthalmologists and Optometrists and Pacific ClearVision Institute is proud to call him one of the family.