Making it as a lead guitar player in a world-famous rock band wasn’t a realistic long-term career goal for Dr. Luis Trujillo - although he often fantasized it could be a definite possibility. He subsequently chose the world of optometry as his mainstay. Growing up in an underprivileged setting on the southern Texas border, he witnessed first-hand the need for healthcare professionals, specifically vision care authorities. “I knew optometrists were doctors who examined the eyes and prescribed glasses, but at a young age, was unaware of the variety of conditions and diseases they were able to treat,” he said.
Dr. Trujillo studied psychology and biology at the University of Texas, and later spent one year training as a cytotechnologist, learning the skill of identifying cancerous cells. “I always felt that I belonged in the healthcare system helping the less fortunate, but it wasn’t until a close friend recommended the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO)
, that I took my curiosity to the next level.”
Upon graduating from PCO in 2009, Dr. Trujillo worked in an optical setting prior to researching residency programs. It was in this role that he realized his passion for treating pediatric patients with accommodative or binocular vision status, as he felt more “himself” with this population. This inspired him to complete a pediatric and binocular vision residency program at The Eye Institute, and a few years later, was promoted to assistant professor while also treating pediatric patients. “As a faculty member, I enjoy the fact that there’s always a fresh mind to be educated, and not every student learns the same way,” he mentioned. “It’s amazing to be able to guide students, and truly build them up to be future professionals.”
Community outreach and assisting disadvantaged children have become Dr. Trujillo’s main concentrations, as he participates in local vision screening events and Salus University’s school vision program
, providing vision care services and eyeglasses to uninsured children in the Philadelphia area. “Serving the local community, specifically children in need, plays a large role in what drives me to be the best I can be,” he said.
To Dr. Trujillo, advantageous teaching should remain focused on relating to students, while encouraging them at the same time. “Teaching skills and techniques that students can use in “the real world” is the most rewarding aspect of being a faculty member – there’s nothing better than knowing that I helped in shaping a student’s life,” he said. The advice that he’d like to give to current Salus students - “Just be yourself.”