Alum Spotlight: Warren Stoltman

Posted on September 20th, 2011 by

Warren Stoltman graduated with a BA in chemistry from Gustavus in 1999. Although he was interested in the medical field when he started at Gustavus, Stoltman chose to focus on chemistry rather than biology. Said Stoltman, “I find it fascinating that who we are, what we see and how things work is built on such things as chemical reactions, electrical charges, atoms and elements.”

1999 was a hard, but redeeming, year for Gustavus. The previous spring, a tornado demolished the campus, forcing the school to close early. Stoltman, a junior at the time, learned a lot from the difficult and uncertain circumstances the Gustavus community faced. From the tornado, Stoltman first learned how bad experiences often lead to something good. “Being at Gustavus shortly after the tornado and when classes resumed was both devastating yet an amazing experience in life. It taught me that great things can come from bad experiences.”

Now an optometrist working in Buffalo, MN, Stoltman must help patients see bad news in the brightest light possible.  “Nobody likes to break bad news to your patients, yet it has to be done at times. Being informative, respectful, honest and understanding of their feelings are important things to consider, and make the process easier for everybody.”

Providing his patients with the best care possible requires Stoltman to stay updated on the most current research and scientific advances. “A person is never really done learning,” said Stoltman. “Your patients deserve you always keeping caught up on what new treatment options are available.” When Stoltman graduated from optometry school, there were no good treatments available for macular degeneration, a condition that prevents vision in the center of the visual field.  Today, wet macular degeneration can be treated successfully when caught early, and supplements can slow down the progression of dry macular degeneration. Stoltman said, “newer treatments are in early development and are showing promising results. What will occur in the future is exciting and constantly evolving.”


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