Interview Style

Interview with Uyen

Today’s interview is with the lovely and charming Uyen. Uyen is incredibly accomplished with a career as an ophthalmologist, and lives in Nashville, which is a city that’s been on the top of my “must visit” list for years! She is so sweet and down to earth, and luckily for us, is a great photographer with a fabulous closet to document. Enjoy meeting Uyen!

Who are you? What do you do, and where do you live?

Hi, I’m Uyen. I am an ophthalmologist and shopping is my cardio! I am originally of Vietnamese descent and grew up in the Washington DC area. I now live in Nashville, Tennessee.  I came to Nashville in 2001 to finish my medical training at Vanderbilt University.  I have been on the faculty ever since, so it is literally my one and only job! I met my husband at Vanderbilt one night on a trauma call at 3 AM (he is an anesthesiologist).  We have been married four years now since that night.

Lovely Uyen and her husband

You are an M.D. specializing in eye surgery. How did you end up in this profession?

I chose ophthalmology as I love the variety in the care of patients. In my specialty, we have the privilege of restoring sight to many people through the use of cutting edge technology such as lasers, three-dimensional scanners, and many different microsurgical advances.  Within ophthalmology, my specialty is corneal transplantation.

How do you think most women fare in the medical profession? What would be your advice for women looking to enter and thrive in the field?

When I trained twelve years ago, women were definitely in the minority in medicine.  This has definitely changed for the better, and today, most medical school classes are made up of at least 50% women.  My advice to up-and-coming female physicians would be to work hard and stay true to your convictions – both personal and professional.

With a python Dior bag

You have lovely style. What’s your typical day look? Does it have to be pretty utilitarian for running around a hospital?

I am a firm believer that you can mix different styles of fashion and still look professional.  I learned very quickly that wearing heels in a clinic and hospital would not work!  Most days I wear Lanvin flats to work or one  inch Manolo Blahnik shoes.  These are actually incredibly comfortable and I can stand all day in them. As far as attire is concerned, I love the professional looks from Tory Burch – I have a whole section in my closet of outfits from this brand so that I don’t have to think a lot if I have to get up at 4:30 in the morning.  I also mix in tailored pieces from Burberry Prorsum, Helmut Lang, and Vivienne Westwood.

What are some of your favorite, most treasured items in your wardrobe?

My first Birkin (a 35cm orange with gold hardware), and a Chanel black & gold tweed coat.

How about the most used items in your wardrobe?

My Kelly 35cm black bag with gold hardware – it is perfect for carrying charts to the operating room, my iPad, iPhone, and even my MacBook Air! And, all of my Lanvin flats!

With her trusty Leica

What is a piece of advice about finding your style/budgeting that you’ve learned over the years? What percent of items do you buy at full price versus sale?

For me, there was a lot of trial and error in finding my personal look.  As I got older, I gravitated towards the timeless classic look with a bit of an edge.  My style icons are Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly.

I don’t mind paying full price for items that I absolutely must have! This happens about 30% of the time.  The rest of the time, I love a good sale just like the next woman. Living in Nashville, I do most of my shopping on line and with personal shoppers in bigger cities.  I adore Net-a-Porter for the variety and quality of their fashions.  They also have an abundance of size four designer shoes for my small feet!

With Chanel flap

What are some of your other passions and hobbies?

I religiously do Pilates & Spin three times a week – they really do decrease stress and it keeps me limber.

I also love photography.  I shoot with a Leica M9 and would love to get the Leica M9 Hermes special edition camera!

Finally, please share something surprising about yourself!

I’m a technology and gadget geek!  My husband always teases that I am always on my laptop looking at the Purse Forum or Cult of Mac.

I’m the proud mother of  four beautiful dogs: Christmas, Bandit, Chewie, and Teddy.


Isn’t Uyen so charming and pretty? It’s very clear that she’s is passionate about photography, because her photos are absolutely beautiful! I loved hearing about her medical work (I’m like my parents, I’m always impressed by doctors), and the fulfillment she receives from her profession. Thank you Uyen for sharing some of your life and wonderful photography with us here today!

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  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Hi Katherine,

    I enjoy reading all interviews you present to us, interesting people, interesting questions and inspiring stories! I’m wondering when you can interview with yourself? Really looking forward to it!! 🙂

    • Reply
      October 24, 2012 at 9:19 am

      Hi Michelle, you are too kind! I don’t have plans right now but maybe one day in the future 🙂

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 8:16 am

    What a lovely lady!
    Happy Wednesday Hun xoxo

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 8:32 am

    she is adorable! and im so jealous of her Leica!

  • Reply
    Marlene @ chocolatecookiesandcandies
    October 24, 2012 at 8:52 am

    My brother’s in the ophthalmology program with another year to go. It’s a tough industry to break into so kudos to her. Uyen reminds me of a renaissance woman who’s not only good in the science field but also arts. Her photos are simply beautiful. What I’d give to have a Leica! I can’t believe I met someone who has a size 4 feet. There are not many of us on this earth so we should start a club!! Hermes, photography, doctor (I’m surrounded by family and friends in the profession) and size 4 feet – gosh, a woman after my own heart.

    • Reply
      October 24, 2012 at 9:19 am

      I heard about how difficult the field is, I have a friend who is early in her medical career who is trying to break in as well. I’m jealous of you ladies with dainty feet!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Thank you for sharing Uyen’s story with us! I’m Vietnamese as well, and always like hearing success stories in my community. Uyen is beautiful, smart, talented and quite the fashionista!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Another interesting profile, I always look forward to wednesday to read about those inspiring people…
    I’m curious about the way she carries her camera…..any chance to find out ? So charming….loved her style.

    • Reply
      October 24, 2012 at 11:17 am

      Hi L, sure – I will let Uyen know about the question and hopefully she can respond 🙂

  • Reply
    DSK Steph
    October 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I love her! Her dogs are so cute too!!

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Great interview. Gorgeous with great style and brains. What a powerful combination.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    As a fellow physician (pediatrician) it was great to read this interview and see how successful and stylish female doctors can be!

    I agree with the first post…it would be nice to see an interview of yourself Kat. 🙂

    • Reply
      October 25, 2012 at 10:13 am

      Thank you Emily (and another doctor…what a smartie!)

  • Reply
    October 25, 2012 at 5:42 am

    Uyen proves that women can be both smart and stylish. I also admire her skills in photography, since I’m trying to improve mine at the moment. Thanks for the great interview Kat! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    As a long time lurker on your blog I had to post a comment for this fantastic interview as I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    I am a public health doctor and epidemiologist from across the pond and it is refreshing to read about a female doctor who also loves fashion and pretty things.

    Would love an interview about you too 🙂

    • Reply
      October 26, 2012 at 12:20 am

      Wow another doctor! Thank you CP for your kind comment and for coming out of lurkdom 🙂

  • Reply
    October 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    She has a fabulous bag collection!


  • Reply
    October 27, 2012 at 7:36 am

    She is so beautiful. Love all the pictures, especially the one With her trusty Leica.

    Want to let you know, Katherine, my husband one day came home and told me he found your interview with George Martin by accident. We’ve been watching “Game of Thrones” at night through Netflix, and he’s read the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series before. He remembered your blog from my mentioning to him apparently. 🙂

    • Reply
      October 27, 2012 at 9:36 am

      Hi Vicky that’s awesome, thanks for telling me! I’m a huge fan like him, planning on re-reading them all soon 🙂

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