It is Graduation Time!
with inputs from Daniel and Vaishnavi, USA
The month of May marks the graduation epoch for Optometrists in the United States-as we have two of our alumni receive their higher degrees. Mr Daniel Prakash and Ms Vaishnavi Raghuram, undergraduates from Bausch and Lomb School of Optometry (BLSO), obtained their Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree and are celebrating the honour of holding the title “Dr” prefixed to their names.
Daniel Prakash in his graduation outfit.
Daniel (BLSO, 2009) completed a 4 year OD course from the University of Missouri Saint Louis (UMSL), Missouri and graduated on 16th May 2015. As a child, Daniel was greatly inspired by Dr Ida Scudder – a medical missionary in India, who dedicated her life to the plight of Indian women and set a role model by starting one of Asia’s foremost teaching hospitals. Daniel wanted to follow her path of serving people and chose optometry as a route to offer his medical services. The credit goes to his father Mr Jyothi Prakash, who introduced the field of optometry to him and helped him understand that this profession could help fulfil his dreams. Daniel received Carl Zeiss Scholarship when he was a student at BLSO. As a student at UMSL, Daniel was part of numerous student organizations like the American Optometric Student Association, Student Volunteer Organization for Service to Humanity (SVOSH), National Optometric Student Association & Fellowship of Christian Optometrists. He also volunteered for a medical mission trip to Haiti with the SVOSH in January, 2014. Daniel acknowledges his BLSO mentors -Mr Y Vijay Kumar and Mrs. Janitha Kondala, who encouraged and supported him to pursue higher education. In his words “As an optometrist, my goal is to be a beacon of light, to help people see better, to have vision in life and eliminate darkness”.
Vaishnavi Raghuram (BLSO, 2011) also completed the OD course from the New England College of Optometry (NECO), Boston and graduated in May 2015. Vaishnavi joined into NECO’s Accelerated Optometry Degree Program, wherein candidates with overseas qualifications complete final two years course of the OD program. NECO is one of the oldest and most prestigious colleges for Optometry in USA. As a fourth year student at NECO, Vaishnavi had an excellent opportunity to deal with patients from various sectors, including Health Center, Veterans Affairs, Multi-specialty setup and a private practice. This experience, along with the excellent academic standards, boosted her clinical skills to serve varied patients from different walks of life. Also her work experience at LVPEI and the variety of pathology she had encountered in the patient population has definitely helped her excel her time at NECO. She was given the 2014 ‘Ocular Instruments Award’ for demonstrating outstanding performance. She proudly says “NECO also allowed me to broaden my clinical repertoire. It pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and taught me how to be a well-rounded clinician.”
On behalf of the ALO, we congratulate Dr Daniel Prakash and Dr Vaishnavi Raghuram for their proud achievements and wish them luck for future endeavours.
Vaishnavi Raghuram in her graduation attire.