A Closer Look at the 2015-16 Residency Class

In July, SUNY Optometry welcomed a new class of 35 residents who participate in a variety of programs, both at the College and at SUNY-affiliated sites across the region. The residents come from all over the United States, graduating from 11 different schools and colleges of optometry.

Dr. Rima Bakhru
Dr. Rima Bakhru, a vision therapy resident focusing on neuro-optometric rehabilitation

Dr. Rima Bakhru, a vision therapy resident focusing on neuro-optometric rehabilitation, talks about why she chose her residency and what life is like as a resident:

What was your reasoning for doing a residency? Had you known for a while that you wanted to do one?
For me personally, a residency was always in the cards. I felt that specializing would allow me to provide a higher caliber of care to my patients. Moreover, it would be a gateway to a more challenging and rewarding career path.

Your residency is focused on neuro-optometric rehabilitation. Tell us a little bit about what that is and what interested you in it.
It was during my second year in the OD program at SUNY that I became fascinated with neuro-optometric rehabilitation. It focuses on modifying vision therapy to help patients with neurologically-based visual symptoms. Since this is such a niche field, doing a residency was really important in order to gain the knowledge and experience that I’ll need going forward.

Tell us a bit about what your daily life is like as a resident.
My day involves specialized exams where I evaluate patients with acquired or traumatic brain injuries for visual dysfunctions. Many patients have problems with eye teaming (binocularity), depth perception or eye movements after suffering a brain injury. Some of my patients have lost part of their field of vision or see double. When we identify these problems, we design a customized vision therapy regimen for each patient and usually see them on a weekly basis.

What would you say to an optometry student who is thinking about doing a residency but isn’t sure?
I think that any student with a passion for a particular area of optometry or a desire to continue expanding their knowledge base should consider doing a residency. It’s certainly not for everyone—and many of those who aren’t sure if they should do a residency have good job prospects in either case. There’s no doubt that a residency will make you a better practitioner and it can often open up professional opportunities for you down the road as well.

_______

Here are SUNY Optometry’s 2015-16 residents, along with their program and alma mater:

Vision Rehabilitation         (Neuro-optometric Rehabilitation) SUNY Rima Bakhru State University of New York College of Optometry
VA Harbor Health Brooklyn Marcella Pipitone Ohio State College of Optometry
Shira Radner State University of New York College of Optometry
Joanna Komar NOVA
Mirjeta Abazaga SALUS
VA New Jersey Christine Ahn Western University of Health Sciences School of Optometry
Violet Ehiem Rosenberg
Stella Lee State University of New York College of Optometry
Ocular Disease SUNY Mi Mi Lim State University of New York College of Optometry
Luisa Prieto State University of New York College of Optometry
Abby Tang New England College of Optometry
Eva Tsui State University of New York College of Optometry
Fromer Eye Centers Anna Lange State University of New York College of Optometry
Pediatrics Optometry SUNY Noelda Fernandes Illinois College of Optometry
Elsa Sheerer State University of New York College of Optometry
East NY Diagnostic & Treatment Center/SUNY Sarah Zuckerman State University of New York College of Optometry
Cornea & Contact Lens SUNY Caitlin Morrison New England College of Optometry
Primary Care SUNY Maegan Sauer State University of New York College of Optometry
Amy Steinway State University of New York College of Optometry
Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center Irene Choi State University of New York College of Optometry
Heema Desai State University of New York College of Optometry
Alanna Khattar Southern College of Optometry
Anna Wong State University of New York College of Optometry
Hudson Valley VA Joseph Boos State University of New York College of Optometry
Lauren Feroli State University of New York College of Optometry
Ruth Hable New England College of Optometry
Manju Varghese UoM St Louis College of Optometry
West Point Lynn Griffin NOVA
Dr. Irwin B. Suchoff Residency Program in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation SUNY Kimberly Hamian State University of New York College of Optometry
Justine Simon Western University of Health Sciences School of Optometry
Lauren Strawn State University of New York College of Optometry
Northport VAMC Sarah Arneal University of California Berkeley School of Optometry
Long Dao State University of New York College of Optometry
Janette Hang Western University of Health Sciences School of Optometry
Amy Lam State University of New York College of Optometry