Celebrating our residency program’s Class of 2020-2021

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

 Dr. Zoe Stein, Dr. Rachel Amaral, Dr. Chen and Dr. WongOn August 31, the School of Optometry & Vision Science is saying “see you soon” to our 2020-2021 Residents as they graduate from Optometry’s 13-month residency program!

In a year like no other, our residents have shown incredible resiliency - adapting well in the face of the numerous challenges presented by COVID-19 to have a tremendous impact on our patients, students, and staff.

As our residents move on to the next phase of their careers, they are leaving the program feeling confident with their enhanced skillset and excited about their futures in the profession.

Dr. John Chen, the Low Vision Rehabilitation Resident, felt his time in the residency program was a great opportunity to expand his abilities while working with a unique population of patients. “Low vision rehabilitation is extremely rewarding. You bring many patients a lot of hope,” said Dr. Chen. “[During my time as a Resident], I’ve learned that patients can be very different in their attitudes, their opinions, their goals, or their reservations. Wracking my brain to figure out how to best help a visually impaired individual whose primary goal is something as esoteric as wooden bird carving, model train collecting, curling, or pet costuming is what made working as a Resident in Low Vision rehabilitation has been both challenging and fun.”

He encourages graduating Doctor of Optometry students to consider the residency program as a next step after graduation. “The residency program is really designed to challenge you. While I know not everyone may share my passion for Low Vision, I strongly recommend this program if it aligns with your passions.” While Dr. Chen has finished his time in the residency program, he will be continuing his work at the School as a Clinical Instructor.

Dr. Zoe Stein, the Pediatric and Vision Therapy resident, also recommends the Residency program to any student who has a specific passion in specialty care. “The biggest learnings I’ll take away from this experience is the management of complicated, non-textbook cases. I was often challenged by the variation in presentation of unique and common conditions”, said Dr. Stein. “I’m really looking forward to continuing to practice outside of this residency.” Next month, Dr. Stein will be joining a private practice on the west coast, where she will be treating a combination of binocular vision specific and primary care patients.

Over the years, Waterloo residents have been highly successful, not only in clinical faculty positions and as clinical supervisors, but also as PhD students, in hospital appointments, and in developing optometric practices and networks with a special optometric focus.

To Dr. Chen, Dr. Stein, Dr. Wong and Dr. Amaral – thank you for contributing your time, your passion and your skillset to our clinic over the past year! School faculty and staff wish you all the best on the next step of your career. We are proud to have you among our esteemed network of graduates.

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