After going to undergraduate school at Fordham University in New York City, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in Integrative Neuroscience with a minor in Anthropology, and then taking a gap year before going on to optometry school at the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Optometry, Rochelle Fleisher, OD, ‘22Resident, decided she needed a change.Dr. Rochelle Fleisher
 
“I had lived in New York for nine years and wanted to experience a different city,” the Marlboro, New Jersey native said. As a result, she is now part of the Class of 2022 
residents at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) at Salus University.

Dr. Fleisher decided early on that she wanted to work in healthcare, a decision heavily influenced by her mother, a nurse practitioner.

“I was inspired by her passion and drive. I knew I was meant to care for and connect with patients just like she does, but I just had to figure out how,” she said.

Dr. Fleisher started by experimenting with clinical research during college and shadowing various doctors. During her gap year, she worked at a private optometry practice in her hometown amongst SUNY alums, which solidified her interest in optometry.
 
Her residency at PCO/Salus began July 1, 2021, and things are off to a good start. She was immediately impressed with how welcoming the PCO/Salus community is, particularly to its residents.
 
“It’s a new school, clinic, and city, and I can barely find my way around, but the people here have not hesitated to help show me the way,” said Dr. Fleisher, who will work in primary care and ocular disease at The Eye Institute, the program’s main clinical facility, where she anticipates seeing a diverse group of patients. “Everyone has been open to answering questions and encouraging me to take it all in and enjoy the year. That’s been really reassuring for me.”
 
The future is still up in the air a bit while she completes her residency, but Dr. Fleisher said she would like to spend more time training in a hospital or possibly in an academic setting before eventually settling in private practice.
 
For the next year, though, she’s got a new big city to explore when she’s not adding to her knowledge of optometry, or engaging in her other interests of reading and baking.
 
“I want explore the city, spend some time in the historic areas, and find out where the best local spots are,” said Dr. Fleisher, who has only had a chance to see the Philadelphia Art Museum steps where Rocky took his famous climb.
 
“There was a bit of a culture shock going from a suburb like Marlboro to a huge city like New York,” she said. “And, then going from New York to Philly was another huge change. There’s definitely a different atmosphere and experience here, but I’m really excited for this coming year.”