Eric Larios, OD

Class of 2016

“As a new resident within the Veteran Affairs system, I can confidently say that Berkeley Optometry gave me all of the tools to succeed in life post-graduation. Clinically I was able to have such varied experiences as performing school vision screenings throughout the Bay Area, to rotating as far as Montana in order to work with the Crow Tribe at an Indian Health Service hospital. My mentors included exceptional attendings who pushed me and allowed me to grow as a clinician. My education also extended beyond clinic, as I was able to pursue such opportunities as the Schweitzer Fellowship and learn about interdisciplinary approaches to assisting underprivileged communities. Berkeley Optometry strives to mold its students into high caliber and well-rounded clinicians that can deal with the most complex of patients, a sentiment that I can attest to.”

Cynthia Musante, OD

Class of 2015

“During fourth year, I was grateful for having five clinical rotations. Not only did it give me a variety of clinical environments for comparison, but the duration of rotation caused me to dive-in head first and make an impression on my Attendings. My fourth year rotations prepared me for making a fast connection and positive impression on my new employer.”

Alfred F. Vong, OD

Class of 2015

“At Berkeley Optometry I was given the opportunity to not only have thousands of patients under my care, but also to gain valuable skills in a wide range of clinics. In the pediatric clinic and at school vision screenings, I detected early visual disorders that may handicap young children in school. In ocular disease clinic and community health centers, I educated patients on the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle to prevent diabetic retinopathy. In low vision clinic, I assisted the visually impaired in finding adaptations and solutions for their visual needs. My experience in such a variety of clinics has prepared me to be a highly-skilled and well-rounded practitioner.”

Leila Hajkazemshirazi, OD

Class of 2014

“There is no doubt that UC Berkeley provides excellent classroom education, but what truly sets Berkeley Optometry apart from similar professional schools is the clinical experience the students gain by the end of their four years in the program. Throughout my 3rd and 4th year of optometry training, I had the opportunity to directly evaluate thousands of patients and become proficient in all areas of optometric patient care. My clinical experience at the numerous internal clinics and excellent external affiliated sites throughout the country exposed me to a wide range of patient demographics, ocular disorders such as anterior segment disease, and pre- and post-management of refractive surgery. I even had the opportunity to observe and work alongside ophthalmology mentors. I believe that because of this exceptional clinical preparation, Berkeley Optometry graduates all share a common trait, and that is a smooth transition to the real world of optometric patient care as an independent practitioner.”

Cory Hakanen, OD

Class of 2014

“When choosing an optometry program, the hardest thing to understand can be how qualified of a doctor you will become by the end. You can read all the statistics on number of patient encounters, variety of conditions encountered, classroom education and more, but it can be difficult to really appreciate that data unless you know how it will help you. The high volume of clinical education that Berkeley offers its students provides the setting needed to become a fully autonomous optometrist capable of giving comprehensive care. As a young OD, I feel wonderfully qualified thanks to the quality of the clinical education at Berkeley Optometry, let alone the first-rate classroom education.”

Jasmine (Jazzi) Junge, OD

Class of 2014

“As a student at Berkeley Optometry, the most valuable aspect of my education was not only the sheer volume of patient encounters, but the quality of clinical instruction and the amount of learning I gained from every patient encounter. I feel very fortunate to have been so thoroughly prepared for clinical practice by some of the brightest and most passionate instructors. My various clinical rotations exposed me to a variety of clinical settings and patients, and I emerged from my fourth year prepared to begin working as an optometrist.”

Anne Tasaki, OD

Class of 2013

“The clinical experience at Berkeley Optometry is invaluable due to the vast number and variety of clinical cases the student clinicians are exposed to daily. The introduction to patient care starting early in second year allows the students to build long-lasting relationships with faculty and colleagues. These relationships are great resources to turn to throughout your career.”

Jacqueline Theis, OD

Class of 2013

“Aside from the sheer number of patients seen during your clinical experience at UC Berkeley, the most rewarding and educational aspect of the clinical program is it’s diversity in patient age, gender, race, and disease. Under the guidance of astounding clinical professors, UC Berkeley School of Optometry provided me with first-hand experience in the medical model of optometry and prepared me for my post-graduate career.”