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UMSL Welcomes Two New Residents

UMSL Welcomes Two New Residents


Each year, UMSL College of Optometry welcomes two new residents in the areas of Cornea and Contact Lens and Pediatric and Binocular Vision.  In July, the college welcomed Dr. Jaclyn Leonhardt and Dr. Alicia Chacon to the team. 

Dr. Leonhardt sought a residency in Cornea and Contact Lens after an externship rotation in Northeast Ohio where she, “fell in love with specialty contact lens fitting and anterior segment.”  Having graduated from The Ohio State University College of Optometry, Dr. Leonhardt was drawn to UMSL due to the reputation of the contact lens program.  She explains, “there are so many world renowned faculty members at the school, especially in the field of contact lenses. Once I met the faculty and current resident at my interview, I knew it was the place for me.”

Before coming to UMSL, Dr. Chacon completed her Doctorate in optometry at University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg school of Optometry in San Antonio Texas; where she also had the opportunity to conduct research that yielded two publications on the topics of color deficiencies and how hands free phone calls impair visual performance. She has jumped right in as the Pediatric and Binocular Vision Resident.  As an intricate part of the Pediatrics team, Dr. Chacon has been busy seeing many special cases that she would not necessarily be exposed to in private practice.  The primary reason she chose UMSL was “the opportunity to take part in the distinguished pupil project working to help diagnose struggling students with dyslexia, dysgraphia and other learning conditions. This is an area of optometry in which I’d had little exposure prior to coming to UMSL but felt it was an area that is under served by optometrist in the optometry community.”

Both Dr. Leonhardt and Dr. Chacon have adapted to life in St. Louis.  Dr. Leonhardt sums up her total experience so far, “I like that I have been able to ease in to the residency at my own pace. The expectations are high, but reasonable.”  Dr. Chacon feels “in the academic setting the faculty student relationship has stuck out, I really enjoy seeing the amount of compassion all the faculty have for the students and their academic success.”

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