Alumni Focus on Angelica Polizzi (OD’20)
DR. POLIZZI'S STORY
Which institution did you attend for your undergraduate degree? What was your major?
I attended Ohio Northern University in Ada. I studied biology, with a pre-optometry focus. After three years, I had fulfilled the credits to apply for optometry school and was accepted early.
Which degree(s), related to optometry, did you earn at Ohio State?
Who were your mentors at the College of Optometry? Who had a positive effect on your education?
All of the teachers at Ohio State are truly amazing, but the two who stand out in my mind are Dr. Jacqueline Davis and Dr. Gregory Nixon. Before I even began class, I loved Dr. Davis because of her email signature, “Patients don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” This spoke volumes to me, and to this day is a motto I bring into practice. Dr. Davis embodies this motto each and every day of clinic as well, and it was such an honor to learn from her. It was also an honor to learn from Dr. Nixon, who showed so much passion for learning. I had the privilege to work with him as President of Beta Sigma Kappa, an honor’s fraternity, and I loved seeing his excitement when we found new research content to discuss. I think it’s important to have that passion as a doctor because it ultimately brings the best care for patients.
DR. POLIZZI'S CAREER IN OPTOMETRY
Name of your employer(s) and title, including location.
Excellence in Eyecare in Medina, Ohio
Give us a glimpse of your typical day as an optometrist.
I work in a private practice, serving patients for comprehensive exams, contact lens fittings, and managing medical conditions such as dry eye, glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc. I love educating patients on their eye health and showing patients their medical scans, like OCT or visual fields. I think it helps with patient comprehension, and it’s fun when patients get involved with their care.
Which optometric issues concern you the most?
Public awareness of what optometrists can do is a big topic in my mind. So few people realize we can find medical problems with our exams. I think strongly encouraging a dilated fundus exam is huge, but also educating patients on what we do and do not see in their exam is key. It opens the conversation to more discussion of overall health and develops a trusting relationship with patients.
Why did you choose a career in optometry?
I initially chose this career because I thought contact lenses were fascinating. Contacts were a miracle for my young teenage self who did not enjoy wearing glasses. When asked “What do you want to do when you grow up?” in high school, I figured it would be a fun job to show other people that miracle. I still get so much joy prescribing contact lenses to new wearers – the excitement is real!
Where do you hope to see your optometric career in five years?
I hope I will be practicing full scope optometry and providing patients with excellent care.
What is one piece of advice you can give OPT-IV students as they prepare to graduate and begin their optometric careers?
Remember to be patient with yourself. You are going to be a great doctor, but you are still learning. Give yourself time to think and discuss with other colleagues; don’t be afraid to change your mind and call the patient back in. Patients will appreciate your thoroughness, and you will feel better knowing you did everything you could.
DR. POLIZZI'S OHIO STATE EXPERIENCE
What were your most memorable moments at Ohio State?
Being with classmates - whether it was studying for exams, practicing for clinic, or taking study breaks, we were always having a great time. The process of getting a doctorate is not easy, but the bonds we made were absolutely worth the effort.
What do Ohio State and the College of Optometry mean to you and your family?
The Ohio State University is such an amazing school. So much positive energy and focus on improving the future. It meant so much to be able to study and graduate from this prestigious school!
How do you stay connected with the College of Optometry?
I enjoy going to continuing education at the college and catching up with alumni at other events like EastWest.
What has the COVID-19 experience taught you about patient care?
It reiterated how important it is for patients to understand we are medical professionals who can help with so much more than just glasses and contact lenses.
DR. POLIZZI'S FUN FACTS
What are your current hobbies, volunteer work and interests?
During COVID, I learned how to crochet. I love making hats, pompoms, scarves, and baby booties. Currently working on a little cardigan! Very fun to learn something new.
What is a fun, random fact about you?
I played rugby in college! Never heard of it before I started playing, but hands down my favorite sport to play.
What’s the best eye pun you’ve ever heard?
Hey doc, I think I have Sunday glaucoma. I can’t see myself going to work Monday!
If not an optometrist, I would be …
An audiobook narrator. I have so many patients who tell me my voice is so soothing.