Optometry: A Unique And Diverse Profession

Jose M. De Jesus, OD, MA, MD, FAAO talks about his unique experience in the educational fields.

Cara Moore: Hi everyone. Thanks for watching Optometry TV. I’m Cara Moore joined now by Dr. Jose De Jesus. Thanks for being here.

Dr. Jose De Jesus: Thank you for inviting me.

Cara Moore: And we’re talking about clinical and educational experience supporting industry growth and really your unique experience in the educational fields.

Dr. Jose De Jesus: Exactly. I graduated in 1987 from optometry school and it kind of diverged from there. I’ve done further studies, a Master’s Degree in biomedical sciences and down the road I went into Med school and became a Medical Doctor as well. So I diverged a little bit from the optometry field, but then again, you know, with the evolution of the profession, we’ve made kind of a good length afterwards, so it’s been good for me.

Cara Moore: So talk about your work in academia.

Dr. Jose De Jesus: Well, I’ve done clinical experience, for the most part, in my early years. And then afterwards I went into the classroom setting. First in the clinical experience side, I taught just general optometry as time went on, I went into more specific types of clinics practice glaucoma treatment, pretty much glaucoma treatment, but pathology also in [inaudible] and pathology. And from there I leaped into classroom settings where I taught ocular pharmacology. In my later years, I taught also general pharmacology as well.

Cara Moore: So how do you help students navigate their fields of interest? Because you know, there’s a lot of options in the industry.

Dr. Jose De Jesus: So, so basically, besides giving them the knowledge, I can kind of foresee what interests they have in the different areas of optometry. And from there I can orient them and you know, pulling themselves to a greater emphasis or strengthen those areas so they can diverge from there once they graduate. I can pick that up pretty quickly. You know, there’s, you know, like, you know, optometry has a, it’s a pretty unique profession because there’s a lot of diversity. There’s a lot of things you can do once you graduate. So if I can provide those basic tools that they can, you know, use from there and then go ahead and expand from there, and just do their area of interest.

Cara Moore: And you think you’ve helped the industry grow.

Dr. Jose De Jesus: I think, I think that’s what you do. I mean, by doing this direct impact with the students from there, they can flourish, right, from whatever they’re interested in. And then they can meet other people that are linked to the industry. Pharmaceuticals, they can go into VA hospital systems, they can do direct care with, you know, state government agencies that are related to health care, and all that sort of thing.

Cara Moore: And so once the student finds his or her area of expertise, how do they flourish once they know what they want to do?

Dr. Jose De Jesus: The way they flourish many times is by this, the same thing that we’re doing right now. Yeah, the Academy, all these presentations they do, they’re just based on, you know, the exciting things that they’ve done in the areas of interest.

Cara Moore: Okay. Excellent. We appreciate your time with us here today. Thank you very much and thank you all for watching Optometry TV.

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