Optometry in Puerto Rico
We have been speeking with an Optometrist blogger in Puerto Rico to get an insight into how Optometry interests and inspires other optical students around the world. From what triggered the initial interest to begin studying optometry to the advances in Optical technology that the future holds, Karla explains how her career path has been shaped by a routine eye exam, with a passionate Optometrist.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
“Hello! My name is Karla and I’m 25 years old. I am a 4th year Optometry Student who graduates this summer 2020. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I love being around nature and exploring new places. Also, I enjoy writing in my personal blog on my free time.”
What made you choose Optometry as a course?
“Ever since I was in high school, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the health care area, but still remained uncertain of a career path. It was in 2013, when I went to a new Optometrist to get my eye exam. Besides an exceptional treat as a patient, the Optometrist explained to me her experience in the field, and what the profession entailed. I was so intrigued about this profession that when I got home, I immersed myself researching optometry. Each day of research grew a profound interest for Optometry and this interest evolved into my passion. This doctor provided me with a profound inspiration that became my unwavering pursuit to become an Optometrist.”
What has been the most enjoyable thing about studying Optometry so far?
“Being able to show patients how we as Optometrists can make a difference and have an impact instantly in how they see.”
What has been the hardest part about studying Optometry?
“I definitely have to say that the academic load that keeps increasing with every semester of school and studying for the license exams (The National Board of Examiners in Optometry).”
What made you chose the university you are studying at? What was it about that university that stood out?
“I chose the Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry, because of the wide exposure through different clinics that the students have the opportunity to rotate. Some of they are Vision Therapy, Low Vision, Special Contact Lenses, and Electrodiagnosis. In addition, the hands-on experience to a Hispanic population and the diversity of ocular diseases that manifest in them. And last but not least, I wanted to be part of the small amount of Puerto Ricans that get accepted into our school, due to the fact that the majority of the students accepted, come from the United States. What makes the university stand out is that it is the only Bilingual Optometry School.”
What’s keeping you in Optometry? What inspires you to stay in the field?
“My passion and commitment towards this amazing profession are what keep me in Optometry. What inspires me to stay in the field, is the impact that we can have instantly in the majority of patients. Also, the complexity of the human body and systemic diseases such as Diabetes, that can affect a patient’s vision, motivates me to stay in this field, to continue spreading awareness about how important it is to have an eye exam.”
What advances in Optical technology do you look forward to in the future?
“The implementation of Augmented Reality as part of management in low vision patients. These patients are those that have lost a significant amount of vision that cannot be corrected with regular glasses; therefore, Augmented Reality glasses could represent a new hope for those who believe that nothing else can be done.”