SUNY College of Optometry VISIONARIES 2020: Melissa Yeung, OD


Residency award recipient Dr. Melissa Yeung keeps an eye on the future as an optometrist along with three fellow residents who completed training at the College this year.

Melissa Yeung, OD
Melissa Yeung, OD

New York, NY (June 19, 2020)—A Canadian native, Dr. Melissa Yeung’s journey to becoming an optometrist evolved not only into a professional journey but also a personal one as she has discovered a great deal about her strengths, interests, and herself along the way, particularly during her year-long residency at SUNY College of Optometry. “As cliché as it sounds, I entered the field of optometry knowing that I wanted to help people,” said Dr. Yeung whose focus is vision therapy and rehabilitation. “Through my residency, I realized that teaching and speaking were amongst my passions and learned how to incorporate them into optometry. The dynamic nature of the profession will continue to allow growth in all aspects of my work and life.”

As this year’s Birnbaum Award for Vision Therapy Resident, Dr. Yeung reflects on her SUNY Optometry experience and offers words of wisdom for rising doctors.

Hometown: Toronto, Canada

Graduate Education: University of California Berkeley, School of Optometry

Undergraduate Education: University of Waterloo, Honor Science, Biology Minor

What draws you to optometry?

My passion for optometry started in high school. The great thing about pursuing optometry was that it became a valuable journey where I learned a lot about myself, as well as how I would like to contribute to my community. As an optometrist, you can integrate many of your passions into your career.

What is your fondest memory of your time at the College?

From guest lecturers to being mentored by the experts of vision therapy and rehabilitation (whose names I have seen repeatedly in journal articles), being at SUNY for my residency has altered my list of celebrities. The year of hard work was worth it, as working alongside the doctors I looked up to was very rewarding.

What are your post-residency plans?

After residency, I will be moving back to Toronto and working at a vision therapy practice. I look forward to the constant learning environment in optometry, which will continue to shape me into the doctor I strive to be.

What advice would you give to new students of optometry and recent graduates?

For the new students: Remember that school will get busy, but don’t let that stop you from doing the things that you love, whether it’s working out, yoga, hiking, or baking as I enjoy. It is important to actively make time for your outside interests and activities.

For the recent graduates: Congrats, Docs! Remember that you are constantly learning even after graduation, so keep an open mind. Take every opportunity and challenge as a learning experience.

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