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Editorial Spotlight | June 2018

From Microscope to Matrimony

Jason J. Jones, MD, met Yian Jones, MD, at a multiheaded microscope—a fitting metaphor for how they work together from different angles. While Yian is an oculoplastics specialist, Jason focuses on ophthalmology. With their focus on different aspects of the patient experience, they get to express their talents and complement each other’s work.

How did you meet?

Yian Jones, MD: During my last summer of freedom between the first and second years of medical school, I had a wonderful (in many ways) opportunity to do summer research at the John A. Moran Eye Center with Nick Mamalis, MD. Jason was a first-year resident on his pathology rotation at the time. We met while sitting across from each other on a multiheaded microscope at pathology readouts on a Wednesday morning following grand rounds.

Jason J. Jones, MD: As Nick Mamalis said 4 years later at our wedding (Figure 1), romance then bloomed under the influence of formalin.

Figure 1. The couple married 4 years after a fateful pathology readout.

Did you have any reservations about working together in the same practice?

Jason: No. The only issue is that we are fairly busy, but that same problem would occur even if one of us was in a different profession or worked in another office.

Yian: I was very much looking forward to finally living in the same city as Jason after being away at the University of Iowa for residency and then in Utah for fellowship. In reality, we hardly get to see each other at work. Occasionally, we find time to have lunch together, and date nights are on a tight schedule.

What role do you each play in the practice?

Jason: Yian takes care of the hard patients, making them look better and younger. My goal is to restore vision and thereby help patients see their wrinkles, and then I refer them to my wife! (Just kidding.)

Our areas work well together on a similar patient population and referral base. I’ve brought in a number of FDA clinical trials, and that part of the practice has really grown. Yian has been instrumental in this area behind the scenes as a sounding board and as an investigator and subinvestigator.

Yian: Our areas of focus complement each other very well: Jason helps patients see better; I help them see more (Figure 2). We support each other as partners in practice and at home. An example of how we make things work is that, when we are on call, I take it during the day and Jason takes nights.

Figure 2. Ophthalmology and oculoplastics complement each other well in the practice.

How do you maintain balance with home obligations?

Jason: Yian has taken care of much of the home issues, including the kids. Those kids and I are pretty lucky! I can heat something in the microwave, but that would get old fast. I am tasked with household beverage management and distribution with subspecialization in coffee.

Yian: This is a loaded question with no good answers. We try to spend as much time as we can with the kids whenever possible. Like any family with two working parents, we struggle with striking a balance. Even small things, like taking kids to their dance classes or viola lessons on time, can be a challenge. Our kids are sometimes wise beyond their years and have the ability to adapt to all types of situations.

What is the biggest challenge you face as a couple, and how do you overcome it?

Jason: Having enough time for our relationship and family while still maintaining a fairly hectic schedule. In Yian’s spare time, she comes up with ideas for travel, and we have had some incredible trips together. Last year, we had an amazing bicycle trip in Western Ireland. We are on the hunt for more biking trips now and will be visiting Crater Lake in Oregon this summer.

Yian: Definitely time management. We have our system of what I call the Slinky effect, with periods of compression followed by relaxation. We just go with the momentum, for the most part. We enjoy family trips very much. When the kids were little, we would strap them on our backs and hike for miles in the mountains in Kauai. Thank goodness they can walk on their own now. Now that they are 7 and 10, they can make it up the mountain themselves!

What is the biggest reward?

Jason: We understand the issues of our day-to-day practice and can share, and sometimes commiserate, in those experiences. I can also refer patients to my favorite oculoplastics specialist. I trust her to see any patient and take great care of them. More than that, I am a very lucky man to be married to my wife.

Yian: To come home at the end of a day to my wonderful husband and beautiful family is my biggest reward.

Jason J. Jones, MD
  • Jones Eye Clinic, Sioux City, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Yian Jones, MD
  • Jones Eye Clinic, Sioux City, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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