COOKEVILLE – You’ll have to forgive Dr. Charles Norman if he’s got a slight case of déjà vu. The ophthalmologist, who recently opened a private practice in town and subsequently joined the staff at Cookeville Regional Medical Center, has been here before.
Namely, he practiced in Cookeville – briefly – more than 20 years ago. And in an even more ironic stroke of fate, he’s now outfitting the same office suite he did back then.
Norman, an eye specialist who’s also trained to do surgery, spent his first year post residency in Cookeville alongside Dr. Albert Holmes circa 1990. He then practiced in Texas before relocating four years ago to Cleveland, Tenn. He started seeing patients locally again in September and received his CRMC credentials earlier this year; he’s currently the only ophthalmologist on active staff.
He returned after seeing an opening and physician need. He’s taken up space at 125 S. Jefferson Ave., in the Medical Arts Building space formally known as Upper Cumberland Regional Eye.
“I think it’s hilarious that I ended up in the exact same office I was in back in 1990 and with all those memories from 20-plus years ago,” Norman said. “Cookeville’s grown, and I realized there was quite a bit of need here. My goal is to practice and serve the community.”
Norman, a central Oklahoma native, attended the University of Oklahoma College Of Medicine, where he graduated with honors, in the top 10 percent of his class. He completed his internship and residency in ophthalmology at the University of Arkansas. He’s board certified in his field.
He said he chose ophthalmology as his specialty for a myriad of reasons.
“When I went to medical school I found everything very interesting. I liked pediatrics. I liked general medicine,” he said. “I guess that’s a little bit unusual – usually people have some favorite – but ophthalmology turned out to be really great because you get to treat patients of all ages, from kids up to adults.”
Common cases include patients with cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and more.
Per his staff privileges at CRMC, Norman is available for inpatient consults and emergency room coverage, or when cases involve eye trauma, services that hadn’t been offered prior to his arrival.
“Up until this point, whenever they had anything that needed an ophthalmologist, they sent it to Vanderbilt,” Norman said. “Now I’m available to see some of those patients.”
Outside of work, he and his wife stay busy with three children – two daughters, ages 8 and 6, and one son, age 4. They attend Poplar Grove Baptist Church and look forward to the ample outdoor opportunities the Upper Cumberland affords.
Professionally, Norman aims to build his practice – with an eye (no pun intended) for the long term.
“I am hoping to spend the rest of my career here,” he said.
Dr. Charles Norman is a Cookeville ophthalmologist; he recently joined the staff at Cookeville Regional Medical Center, and his office is located at 125 S. Jefferson Ave. in Cookeville. For more information, call (931) 854-9274 or visit www.crmchealth.org.