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Student Life Blogs

Those who guided me towards optometry

Hey there readers!

Today I'd like to share with you about the individuals who influenced me to choose optometry as my profession of choice. It's funny because I have been wearing glasses since I was in the third grade but I never really considered optometry as a profession until I was in my last few years of my undergraduate career. Prior to attending the University of Central Florida, I knew I wanted to go into health care because I had an interest in science and to someday, take care of patients. Besides that, I didn't really know what route I wanted to take.

I took some courses that discussed the different fields of health care and decided I had to shadow and figure out what really caught my interest. Well, I shadowed a bit in a vet's office and a bit in a hospice and then I went on to pursue an internship with the forensic medical examiners in my hometown of Sarasota, FL. I really enjoyed my internship with the medical examiners and discovered my true passion for the medical field and anatomy/physiology. However, I couldn't really envision myself as a medical examiner for the rest of my life. 

Ironically, during my summer of interning with the medical examiners, I had my yearly examine with my optometrist. Naturally, she asked me questions about how I was and what I had been up to and I explained to her about my internship and my interests in health care. She suggested I shadow in the field of optometry and told me about her profession. She told me that my personality would be great for optometry and I should just check it out and see if it was something I'd be interested in. Well, it all started there. I had finished my internship with the medical examiners and began shadowing several different optometrists in the Orlando area.

I landed a job at Magruder Eye Institute, which consisted of a mix of ophthalmologists and optometrists. I gained a lot of experience at that practice and adored everyone that I worked with. I became very close to the physicians at that practice and they all encouraged me throughout my process of applying to optometry school and pursuing a career in eye/vision care.

Once I had graduated from UCF, been accepted to optometry school and decided to move back to my hometown before beginning optometry school, I met and began working for a phenomenal optometrist in Sarasota. He is an alumnus from Southern College of Optometry and has been in practice for over 30 years. He gave me great advice and lots of personal training in the field of optometry before I began my optometric career at SCO. Thankfully, I have been able to stay in touch with him and receive advice on anything I am unsure about.

I am so grateful to have had several different mentors to guide me towards my future profession in optometry. Whether you are an optometry student or are thinking about optometry as a possible profession, I think it is very important to build a relationship with someone who you can go to if you ever have any questions, need advice or encouragement. It has helped me so much throughout the years!