EyeCare Optical
Appointments (865) 584-0905

Appointments (865) 584-0905

Rachel R. Williams, O.D., MPH, Maryville, TN

Ophthalmic Specialties


B.S. Biomedical Sciences
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL
(Pre-Optometry Association)

Master of Public Health
University of Memphis
Memphis, TN

Medical School:
Doctor of Optometry
Southern College of Optometry
Memphis, TN
(Student Society of the TN Association of Optometric Physicians; Low Vision Society; Ocular Disease Club; Student Public Health and Vision Association)

Rachel Williams, O.D.
  • American Board of Optometry

  • American Academy of Optometry

  • American Optometric Association

“I love the idea that you can go see a doctor and it just be a pleasant experience. The whole experience of making people’s lives better and building that connection with the patient was just a big draw for me.”

Rachel Williams, O.D. MPH, chose the field of Optometry because she wanted to make a difference in people’s lives while also providing a pleasant experience for each patient. She’s able to do all that and then some at EyeCare Optical along with a team of other top minds in the field.

Dr. Williams offers comprehensive eye exams, disease screening and management, glasses and contact lens prescriptions, and much more for her East Tennessee patients.

Rachel Williams, O.D.

Born and raised in Cocoa, Florida, Dr. Williams of course spent her fair share of time at the beach growing up. That’s why she’ll tell you that the mountains of East Tennessee still offer a welcomed change of scenery to this day. Throughout high school, she was very active in volleyball and track, but she also enjoyed playing piano and violin in the school orchestra.

After high school, Williams attended University of Central Florida for her undergraduate studies and majored in biomedical sciences. It was there that she would be enlightened to what would ultimately become her career path.

“When I was in undergrad, I knew I wanted to do something in the healthcare realm,” she said. “I found out that my undergraduate program had a pre-optometry association. That’s where I started to get the idea that I wanted to do optometry.”

Rachel Williams, O.D.

That interest was initially sparked thanks to fond memories of her own eye doctor appointments beginning way back in the 3rd grade.

“I was considering the healthcare-related clubs in college and came across the pre-optometry association,” she said. “After I saw that, I started thinking about it, and I realized that every time I went to the eye doctor growing up, I always had a good experience. I wanted to offer that for other people as well.”

Dr. Williams attended the Southern College of Optometry (SCO) in Memphis, which she enjoyed so much that she completed her residency there.

Before her residency, however, Dr. Williams had to do three rotations her final year at SCO, one of them being in house in Memphis and the others at Bennett and Bloom Eye Centers in Louisville, Kentucky followed by Piedmont EyeCare Associates in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Part of her SCO residency involved a particularly heavy focus on ocular diseases, through which Dr. Williams became quite well versed on many facets of diagnosis and treatment. That helped spark significant interest in the subject that remains with her to this day.

“I would say the majority of my patients during my residency that I really enjoyed caring for were the glaucoma patients,” she said. “Glaucoma and macular degeneration were the two I mostly worked with and also quite a bit of low vision cases. It’s amazing what available technology you can introduce to these patients that can vastly improve their quality of life.”

Williams was eventually introduced to the Knoxville area by way of a visit with a dear friend. She was quickly smitten with East Tennessee, which opened her up to leaving Memphis and heading east to continue her career. She was immediately impressed by the warm, friendly staff at EyeCare Optical.

“Everybody that I met was just extremely welcoming and super nice,” she said. “I was taken to a lot of different offices and I got to meet so many people. Everyone was so willing to answer any questions I had and was just so friendly. I loved that coming into a practice I already felt like I could talk to anyone. Also, it’s a larger practice so there are a lot of different people that you can bounce ideas off of. That was something that I looked for in my residency as well. It was an easy transition for me.”

With so much to offer under one roof, Dr. Williams quickly realized that the collaborative environment with other skilled professionals through EyeCare Optical’s association with Drs. Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun is a true asset.

“If there is a patient who is a little more complicated than normal, something that maybe I haven’t encountered a lot before, I can easily reach out to the retina specialist or the cornea specialists, for instance,” she said. “They’re very open to fellow doctors asking them questions and getting their thoughts on something as far as how to treat and monitor.”

In addition to the benefit of valuable teamwork, Dr. Williams is also eager to further her experience with a variety of eye care scenarios.

“I’m excited to do a little bit of everything,” she said. “That was another big draw for me joining the practice. It seemed like I could still do a lot of glasses and contact lenses, but I could also get plenty of exposure to disease treatment and management, like diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, all those things that we typically see.”

While there are countless patient interactions that add to Dr, Williams’ gratefulness for her career, one story from her residency continues sticking out in her mind. The patient had Stargardt’s disease, which is an inherited retinal disease that affects central vision.

“She was having a lot of trouble being able to read and write,” Dr. Williams recalls. “I introduced her to this electronic magnifier, which is kind of like a tablet that you can place over what you’re trying to read. You can zoom in and change colors. I showed that to her and she did very well with it. She was so excited to go home and use it and tell everyone at her church about it. That was a very rewarding experience.”

For Dr. Williams, being able to foster positive experiences along with the long haul of improving the quality of life for her patients is a tremendous reason to come to work every morning.

“I love the idea that you can go see a doctor and it would just be a pleasant experience,” she said. “The whole experience of making people’s lives better was just a big draw for me as well as building that connection with the patient and seeing them over time.”

In her spare time, Dr. Williams and her husband can be found participating in various outdoor activities, such as hiking and kayaking. They also enjoy playing video games and spending time with their two beloved dogs.

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