UW Mentorship: Dr. Jack DiBerardino and Dr. Brij Patel

By: Tiffany Chan (1st yr), Brooke Hill (2nd yr), Lauren Lai (3rd yr), Cole Sutherland (2nd yr)

Unique Clinic Flow:

The clinic runs their exams in a very unique way! Patients who are in the clinic for a full exam go through a two-part exam in which the first half is vision focused. Once their vision needs have been discussed they leave with a dispenser to look at frames and discuss options. Following that, the patient returns for an ocular health assessment with the optometrist. The doctors find this system help keeps them and the patient on the same page, and we all found it quite innovative!

Not only was the flow of the clinic quite innovative, but we also found that the organization of the clinic space lends itself to a wide variety of care! From low vision assessments, contact lens teachings upstairs, Lipiflow treatment, to a dedicated side office for vision training, it was amazing to see how Dr. DiBerardino’s practice is providing the latest options for his patients!

Inspiring Dinner Conversations:

Dr. DiBerardino had some very interesting thoughts on pursuing a specialty right out of school. He encouraged us to pursue further learning and to try and incorporate a specialty right away, as opposed to trying to pay down debt, or take a “safer” job focusing primarily on refraction. While he emphasized the importance of primary care, he reflected on his own experience, and how his practice has benefitted from providing a variety of specialty services, specifically the new Vision Therapy clinic that he and Dr. Patel recently launched. My biggest takeaway from the wide variety of topics that we covered with Dr. DiBerardino was to not be hesitant to pursue our passion and incorporate further learning into our future practice.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, the visit to Dr. DiBerardino’s clinic was inspiring. Dr. DiBerardino and Dr. Patel taught us that taking the conventional route to becoming an optometrist is sufficient, however, we can develop passions and excitement for our careers through thinking unconventionally and collaborating with other optometrists. Asking questions and learning from other optometrists can not only expand our scope of practice, but also contribute to lifelong learning.

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