Dr. Trent Stribling has returned to Philadelphia to practice optometry after completing two externships in Nashville and north Alabama. He is currently practicing with his father, Dr. Kent Stribling, in the family-owned Philadelphia Eye Care.
Dr. Trent Stribling has returned to Philadelphia to practice optometry after completing two externships in Nashville and north Alabama. He is currently practicing with his father, Dr. Kent Stribling, in the family-owned Philadelphia Eye Care.

Dr. Trent Stribling could have gone anywhere when he became an optometrist, but he came home.

He chose to return to Philadelphia and is the third generation of Striblings to provide eye care here. 

He is working with his father, Dr. Kent Stribling, in the family-owned Mississippi Eye Care, which includes Philadelphia Eye Care. His mother is Mitzi Brown Stribling and he has two brothers, Taylor and Tyson.




“I chose to come back home,” Stribling said. “I grew up in this community and went to high school here,” he said. “This community did so much for me when I was growing up. Whether it be Northside Park or playing sports on in high school. I remember the support we got in high school from people, whether they graduated from Philadelphia or not.” 

“Just coming back and seeing how well my dad is doing. How people here appreciate the care he gives,” he said. “You feel like you a providing a service for people and they appreciate the job that you do. This is where I want to be.”

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Stribling is a 2011 graduate of Philadelphia High School where he played baseball and soccer. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology at Mississippi State University. From there, he enrolled in the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s school of optometry in 2015. 

After completing his studies, he did two externships, one in Nashville and the other in north Alabama. He graduated in May of this year and returned home. Stribling officially began his practice “the week before the Neshoba County Fair,” he noted.

He went to school in Birmingham and did an externship in Nashville. “The pace was a lot faster and I didn’t feel like you had the same connections with your patients that you would in a small town,” he said.

Growing up, Stribling had seen that connection his father had with his patients and it was important to him.

“I remember older men bringing tomatoes and all kind of vegetables from their gardens and handing it to him,” he said. “They appreciated what he did to help them,. It was that connection I saw he had with his patients and that’s what I wanted.”

In high school, Stribling knew he was probably going into the medical field but wasn’t certain it he wanted to become an eye doctor.

“It was on the list,” he said. “School was never a problem for me. I went to Mississippi State and majored in biology. With that degree, I knew I could branch out in any medical field I wanted.”

As a junior in college, he worked part-time in his father’s office during the summer and decided optometry was going to be his career choice.

Today, he is providing care in Mississippi Eye Care offices in Newton, Union and Philadelphia. It’s still early in his practice but he is trying to build connections with his patients.

“I am 26 and am trying to earn their trust,” he said.

They diagnose and treat eye diseases, give primary eye care and do glasses and contacts. “In this part of the world, we do a lot of medical management,” he said. We do a lot of diabetic management and glaucoma management. Sometime, it’s hard. We can make recommendations but the patient has to do their part.”

“We are proud to have him back,” said his father Dr. Kent Stribling. “He is third generation. Our company has grown and we are glad to have another young doctor willing to move back to rural Mississippi.

“I’m proud he wanted to come back. It is becoming more difficult to find doctors who want to move to small town Mississippi. And I’m afraid it’s going to be more difficult as time goes by.”

Stribling is hoping legislation will be passed in the 2020 session of the Mississippi Legislature that will increase the number of surgical procedures that he could provide locally.

“We are hoping 2020 will be a big year for us and there will be surgical procedures we will be able to do,” he said. “Instead of sending a patient two hours away for a surgery, we would be able to do it here in less time. That’s the goal.”

When he isn’t working, Stribling said he enjoys the outdoors. “I’m an outdoorsman,” he said. “I hunt and fish a lot.”

This past fall he helped coach a youth soccer team at  Northside Park. “I played baseball and soccer and I like to come back and help with that in my free time,” he said. 

Stribling also likes to travel, especially going snow skiing. “I’m headed out in February with a bunch of buddies,” he said. “This will be the fourth year in a row for that.”