Dr. Jose Correa '13
As a 2013 graduate from the UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry, Dr. Jose Correa has already enjoyed success with a healthy mixture between medical and primary care optometry. Dr. Correa has had the opportunity to work in different offices located in North Austin, South Texas, and the Houston Area treating a high number of medical patients with conditions anywhere from Diabetes to congenital neurological conditions.
Dr. Correa has utilized his RSO academic experience which helped to prepare him with the essential information for any case that may come through the door. Even after graduation Dr. Correa embraces the concept that his education is ongoing and there will be cases he will see that are rare and unusual and require persistence to find a treatment. Dr. Correa describes his second and third years at RSO as those that focus on preparing any student for what the profession of optometry is, can be, and should be. It is during these academic years that there is a strong focus on ocular anatomy and physiology, neurology, pharmacology, ocular disease and treatments, and even laws and regulations. During his externship experience, Dr. Correa was able to take advantage of a clinical experience with a medical focus through rotations with Dr. Sharp from Sharp Eye Consultants and Dr. Kozlovsky from KDW. These experiences have helped him to understand the importance of incorporating eye care and patient education.
After graduation, Dr. Correa began working with Dr. Jason Prescott in Leander, TX and has been with the practice for the past 2 years. The work that he is doing with Dr. Prescott has helped Dr. Correa learn about the business side of Optometry. Although exposed to billing and coding through his optometric education, he feels this is a skill best refined after graduating since it is something that becomes daily life. Dr. Correa feels that both he and Dr. Prescott share very similar philosophies on patient care, focusing on medical problems first before addressing vision problems. Working with one of the RSO Faculty members (Dr. Rick Sharp) has helped shape the philosophy of caring for patients by evaluating life first, health second, and vision third.
Dr. Correa would give the following advice to students as they prepare to enter optometry school and the profession, “My advice to those that are starting their journey into the optometric world or even to those who already are in the profession is to develop a strong understanding of anatomy and physiology. Our students should have a solid understanding on those two subjects along with an adequate hands on experience in order to understand a patient's complaint and associate a systemic condition's effects physically and visually. I strongly encourage our students to search for externship rotations where they can receive that exposure in medical base optometry offices, whether it is a private practice, military, VA, etc. Through my rotations with Sharp Eye Consultants, I learned the most important lesson that I consider has guided me today as a professional. That lesson is that as a medical provider, it is my job to determine if the patient sitting in my chair is having visual complaints secondary to a life threatening condition, a health threatening condition, or visual condition. This rule has allowed me to evaluate, treat, and educate patients on their ocular needs versus their want. This has broken the stereotype and perception many patients have on our profession. It is important to note that we are the bottleneck for many patients, we are often the first to diagnose their systemic condition and the ones that guide and manage the patient's next steps towards a healthier life. It is no longer just about glasses and contact lenses, it is about healthier communities. Therefore, strive towards a solid understanding of anatomy and physiology.”
Looking to the future, Dr. Correa speaks of plans to open an office. He recognizes the hard work and dedication necessary to make this dream a reality and credits RSO for helping prepare him to be a doctor. Additionally, Dr. Correa recognizes the lifelong learning process through colleagues, friends, professors, trial and error, and generous people in the field. When asked about his biggest influences, Dr. Correa recognizes 2 RSO faculty (Dr. Rick Sharp, Dr. Philip Aitsebaomo,) along with Dr. Jason Prescott as those who have had the greatest impact on his young professional career.