Name: Rebecca Hung 2023 Student Visionary Spotlight

Class Year: 2023

What is your specialty or area of focus (if applicable)?
Vision rehabilitation / Pediatrics

List the award(s) / scholarship(s) you have received
COVD Award for Excellence in Vision Training

What does receiving this award or scholarship mean to you?
I feel very thankful to be acknowledged with this award. Over the last few years, I have developed a passion for vision rehabilitation through the completion of the micro-credential program, a poster presentation at the COVD conference, helping to develop a peer-to-peer vision training program for students, and receiving first-hand experience as a patient. I am excited to continue my journey with residency training and hope to share my passion with my community.

What drew you to the field of optometry?
What drew me to the field of optometry was the opportunity to connect with people and improve vision through a patient-centered approach. It has been very rewarding to have a wide scope of practice that allows us to both provide medical care by treating ocular disease, as well as take on a holistic approach and help patients meet their visual function goals with lenses or vision training.

What are your plans following graduation?
I will be doing a residency program with a focus on pediatrics and vision rehabilitation at the Pacific University College of Optometry. Following residency, my current goal is to explore optometry in a private practice setting and provide vision rehabilitation to my community.

What was your most transformative experience during optometry school?
A transformative experience for me was working in collaboration with SVOSH and Remote Area Medical to deliver vision care to an underserved population in the New York area. It felt very rewarding to collaborate with healthcare providers from diverse medical specialties to increase access to healthcare and be able to give back to the local community. In the future, I intend to continue to find ways to give back to my community through my profession.

What advice would you give incoming or prospective optometry students?
My first piece of advice to incoming students is to come with an open mind and take advantage of all your available resources. Actively seek out opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills in your areas of interest, whether this may be attending club meetings, attending conferences, or volunteering at vision screenings. Simply showing up with a curious attitude can open up doors that you didn't know existed. Be interested in others and meet as many people as you can. Optometry is a small community and you never know when you'll find a mentor that will support you and expand your network of connections. Four years will pass by quickly. To get the most from your time in school, use your time intentionally and jump on opportunities as they arise. My second piece of advice is to try to approach all experiences, both successes and failures, as positive learning opportunities. Entering your clinical rotations for the first time can be daunting when you think about all the things you don't know yet. Try not to let mistakes or gaps in your knowledge sway your confidence. You're in school to learn so mistakes are expected. You'll be a better clinician tomorrow from the experiences you gained yesterday. Take them in stride and learn from them to become the best clinician you can be.