Described as an “all or none firing neuron” in high school, Dr. Kriti Bhagat didn’t quite understand its meaning until taking a neuroscience class during her undergraduate studies as a psychology major at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. After researching the topic, it finally clicked – she has an uncompromising mindset which truly became one with her personality. “I had many driving factors in my life which have carried me this far in my career,” she said. “I completely fell in love with contact lenses early on, and identified the direction I wanted to guide my career in.”
After completing an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience and Psychology within three years, Dr. Bhagat tested the waters in the vision care industry as an ophthalmic technician prior to attending Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO)
. While studying at PCO, she received an Advanced Studies Certificate in Contact Lenses
, due to her growing love for the subject. In addition, she completed a cornea and contact lens residency at The Eye Institute
prior to joining the Salus community as an instructor in the contact lens and dry eye specialty services. This innate interest has led her to jokingly label herself as “corny for corneas.” “Every mentor I met here at Salus has truly inspired me and pushed my career forward - I owe a lot of that encouragement to Dr. Joel Silbert, an authority in the field of contact lenses,” she noted.
Currently, she’s working to identify new research opportunities in both fields, as these matters are closely associated. According to Dr. Bhagat, one of her growing concerns is online exams, where patients have the ability to order lenses over the internet. “Contact lenses are not jewelry or a new pair of shoes, they’re a medical device,” she mentioned. “Patient education is extremely important when it comes to the correct use of contact lenses.”
Exciting and entertaining is how Dr. Bhagat defines her teaching approach. “I have way too much fun in clinic - I love what I do and it truly comes across in my teaching,” she said. She prides herself on being a “hands-on” instructor, as class becomes a memorable experience when students are continually engaged. For Dr. Bhagat, passion for her craft and determination to educate future contact lens leaders are her daily motivating factors.
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