Starting his undergraduate career as a Music Education major, Jeffrey Baker, OD, ‘23Resident, never imagined his career would lead him to an optometric residency.
Dr. Jeffrey Baker“I’ve always loved working with children and enjoyed band and music my whole life,” said Dr. Baker. “After three years [of studying music education] at Ball State University, I still enjoyed working with kids, but being around 60 kids at once was a bit overwhelming, especially when some of them had percussion instruments in their hands.”
A friend recommended optometry as an alternate career, but despite his uncertainty, Dr. Baker decided to stick with music education and keep optometry as his backup plan. “Shortly after, I realized that I could not see a future for myself in a music education career path, so I decided to change my major to biology,” said Dr. Baker. “After completing my undergraduate degree, I went to Indiana University School of Optometry.”
Before graduating from optometry school in 2022, he was encouraged by professors to complete a pediatric residency. One of his attendings at the time, who had attended the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) at Salus University, recommended he inquire about the residency programs at PCO/Salus. “During my interview, the staff were all very nice and I felt so welcomed,” said Dr. Baker. “When I was ranking my residency sites Salus was one of my top choices, and when the match came I was very happy.”
Dr. Baker is excited about his residency experience, but most of all he is looking forward to being able to care for patients throughout the entirety of the year-long program. “I’m excited to be there through the process from diagnosing a child with a vision problem, to getting all the way through vision therapy and getting to see the end results of the therapy,” said Dr. Baker, about his hopes. “So far I have rarely gotten to do that so I am excited to help patients from start to finish.”
Although Dr. Baker does not have any concrete plans for where he wants to go following his residency, he knows he wants to travel, and one place in particular on his mind will help fulfill a missed college opportunity. “I’ve never left the country, and during my second year at Indiana University I was selected for the annual trip to Jamaica to give children eye exams,” said Dr. Baker. “Twelve hours before our flight was supposed to depart, it was canceled due to COVID. I want to go on a trip to Jamaica to fulfill that missed experience.”
Dr. Baker has a lot to look forward to this year, he is specializing in pediatric care and binocular vision and is excited for valuable hands-on experience at The Eye Institute and to form new connections with his fellow residents.