While attending Ursinus College as a biology major, Samuel Kim, OD ‘22, Resident ‘23, interned with a small optometric practice. He enjoyed working there and it sparked his interest in the profession.
 
Dr. Samuel KimOnce he graduated in 2009, the doctor could only offer him a part-time position, but referred him to a larger optometry group of practices in the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania area. He worked there for a number of years as an optometric technician, which cultivated his passion for the profession and desire to pursue a career as an optometrist.
 
While working, Dr. Kim decided to enroll in night classes at Montgomery County Community College for graduate school requisites. Growing up in Willow Grove, he was familiar with Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) at Salus University, which was the only optometry school he applied. 
 
“Most of the optometrists I worked with were PCO/Salus grads, and a lot of the doctors helped me with my application as well as making sure that I was prepped for starting optometry school,” Dr. Kim said.
 
Residency was on his radar since his first year when he heard about it. “I thought residency would help me to be a better doctor. I wanted to be better than what I am,” he said.
 
It’s only been over a month, but he said he’s been enjoying it immensely, both seeing patients as well as being a preceptor to current Doctor of Optometry students at The Eye Institute (TEI). But being on the doctor side rather then as a technician took time to get used to especially in making clinical decisions.
 
“A lot of the patients at The Eye Institute are sick and it reflects in their eyes - uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure or some other ocular disease that they manifest with the potential to lose vision,’’ he said. “Most of the cases I try to be a supportive primary care provider but I have a lot of work to do in that regard. I think it is important skill as a provider to not only diagnose and treat but also be supportive on a more therapeutic level.”
 
He is looking to stay in the area after completing his residency. His ultimate career goal is to join a group practice similar to where he worked as a technician. “I really enjoy what I’m doing right now and hope after residency I can find a position that will help fulfill that desire to be both a provider and support system,” said Dr. Kim.