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March 2017: Haesoul Choi

Haesoul Choi is currently a fourth year student at the University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of2 Optometry. Raised in Calgary, Haesoul knew early on that she wanted to be in a profession that would allow her to better the community around her. After graduating high school in 2006, she went on to pursue a double majors in Health and Disease, and Animal Physiology. During her final years at the University of Toronto she spent much of her time volunteering at the children’s hospital and the center for mental health. During this time she developed a keen interest in healthcare and began looking for her own method to contribute to the growing field. While exploring her options, Haesoul came to hear about the university’s Pre-Optometry club and was quickly engrossed in everything and anything optometry related. A work experience as a front desk clerk at a optometry clinic and several shadowing visits at local optometry clinics furthered her interest and strengthened her resolve to enter optometry school.

In 2013 her dream was realized as she entered the Rosenberg School of Optometry in San Antonio, Texas. She quickly earned academic distinctions earning a membership to Gold Key International Optometric Honor Society and Beta Sigma Kappa International Optometric Honor Society.

In the initial years, she leaped at an opportunities to participate in Mission trips to Dominican Republic, serving with other volunteers to help under-privileged small communities with true passion. She also helped to conduct a research study to discover genes that contribute to retinoblastoma in a summer research program at UIWRSO. During school years, she realized there was much more to the profession than what one can encounter in books and classrooms alone. As she continued to meet with doctors from both United States and Canada, acquainting herself with their different practices and philosophies regarding patient care, she developed a keen interest in holistic patient care. As President of the Private Club (PPC), she invited optometrists from all across the North America to speak to fellow colleagues in UIWRSO.

These speakers gave students insight and 3motivated students throughout the school year, in the face of recurring tests, assignment, and clinical trainings. As a Canadian student living in the United States, she empathized with other international students who had to navigate a complex immigration system to maintain the right to study in the U.S. In particular, as a President of the Canadian Association of Optometric Students (CAOS), she organized an alumni lists and delivered presentations on the Canadian board exams and the process of obtaining licensure in Alberta, among other topics, with CAOS members.

In her last year, she has rotated through externships at the Katy Veterans Affairs Clinic in Texas as well as Bond-Wroten Eye Clinic in Louisiana. Privately, Haesoul is a leader in her local church, and enjoys hiking outdoors during her free time. With graduation time fast approaching, she is looking forward to the next step in her life as a Doctor of Optometry, and one day as a private practice owner.

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