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Ryan L. Maurer

Ryan L. Maurer, Doctor of Optometry ’18, Helps Patients See Clearly

  • Ryan L. Maurer, Doctor of Optometry ’18, is passionate about providing care that helps patients live their best lives. For the aspiring optometrist, that starts with helping patients see clearly.

    “I have always found the human visual system fascinating, and I want to help people,” said Ryan. “Sight is one of the most precious senses, and I want to help preserve that in as many people as possible.”

    When it came to choosing a program that would help him attain his professional goals, Ryan was immediately drawn to MCPHS–Worcester. “When I visited the campus, it was clear to me that the faculty, from the top down, is dedicated to developing an excellent program that really listens to the students’ needs,” said Ryan.

    A major focus of the Doctor of Optometry program is on empowering students to gain hands-on experience by working with real patients, which appealed to Ryan. “The program starts you in the clinic working with patients by your second year, whereas most programs don’t start until the third year,” said Ryan. “Getting into the clinic early on in your education has immeasurable benefits. It’s an excellent way to put the information learned in the classroom to practical use.”

    At the Eye and Vision Center, located on the Worcester, MA, campus, Ryan works alongside faculty members to provide comprehensive eye and vision care to members of the greater Worcester community. The experience enabled him to become comfortable providing care – an important step for the future optometrist.

    “It was a great learning experience that was very intimidating at the start,” said Ryan. “Once I got more comfortable, it was a great feeling to help those in need in the community.”

    Ryan was also drawn to optometry because of the field’s growth, which is expected to increase 27 percent through 2024, a much higher growth rate than that of other professions, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Some of this growth can be attributed to the needs of an aging population, but Ryan points to the bigger picture. “This is an exciting time to get into an expanding field,” said Ryan. “New legislation has allowed optometrists to expand their scope of practice to include more procedures, even lasers, in some states. This is very exciting for the field, and I’m interested to see where it will go in the future.”

    Ryan notes that the optometry field is continually adapting to meet the needs of diverse populations and innovating new advancements that he knows will positively impact the lives of his patients. “New treatments for ocular disease come out constantly, and the technology of glasses and contact lenses has improved dramatically in recent years,” said Ryan.

    Ryan, who served as a member of the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) and the Student American Academy of Optometry (SAAO) and was inducted into Beta Sigma Kappa, the international optometric honor society, points to the faculty in the optometry department as a source of inspiration.

    “The optometry program at MCPHS features an excellent and dedicated faculty that will give you every educational tool and piece of technology needed to become an outstanding optometrist,” said Ryan. “The University has done an excellent job of finding experienced, intelligent, and dedicated staff members who truly care about educating the future of the field.”

    Ryan’s advice for those interested in a future in optometry is to develop time management skills. “If you haven’t already, learn excellent time management skills,” said Ryan. “The program takes up the vast majority of your time, but with proper time management you can still fit in friends, family, and personal life.”

    As he enters his final year in the optometry program, Ryan is looking forward to the next step in his career. Ryan, who is the outgoing vice president of the Private Practice Club, which won the University’s “Organization of the Year” award, has aspirations to open his own private practice. “I have always wanted to own my own private practice,” said Ryan. “It’s a daunting task, but I want to start a practice to help serve the community’s vision care needs.”

    It’s a goal that will help Ryan realize his passion: providing compassionate care that helps improve patients’ lives.

    “Sight is a precious gift and I love helping people,” said Ryan. “Helping people see clearly is what makes me feel good about what I do.”

    The Doctor of Optometry program at our Worcester, MA, campus is a four-year, full-time program designed to prepare students with the requisite skills, experience, and confidence to practice and advance as a professional optometrist in a wide variety of clinical settings.