After graduating as the valedictorian from Magnolia High School in Magnolia, Ark., Dr. Hester attended Hendrix College in Conway, Ark. There he served as president of the Student Senate and founded Arkansas EDU, an organization that united all 19 four-year colleges and universities in the state with the goal of advocating for higher education issues in the State Legislature. He graduated from Hendrix College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Business and was awarded the Mosley Economics and Business Award — the highest academic award given to a Department of Economics graduate and Business. He also received the President’s Medal, which is the highest academic award a graduating Hendrix senior can receive.
Dr. Hester received his Doctor of Medicine degree and completed his internship at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where he served as president of his medical school class. While at UAMS, Dr. Hester received numerous awards, including the Ethel Brickey Hicks Scholarship, Dean’s Office Scholarship, and was inducted into the national Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. Dr. Hester completed an ophthalmology residency at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, where he served as chief resident.
In order to learn advanced subspecialty surgical techniques, Dr. Hester completed a fellowship in cornea, refractive, and anterior segment surgery at the Cullen Eye Institute at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. And he spent a month in Madura, India, to focus on manual small incision cataract surgery. Dr. Hester has served on the Arkansas Medical Society and California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons Board of Trustees. He also held several leadership positions in the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Hester is married to Tammy and they have one child, Catherine Cardell Hester.