Alisha Musau, OD, Resident ‘23 was a biology major at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Although she knew she wanted to be in healthcare, she wasn’t quite sure which path she wanted to pursue. But then a routine eye exam and conversation with her optometrist set her on a career path to optometry.

Alisha Musau HeadshotDuring her visit, her optometrist asked if she knew what she wanted to do and she replied maybe healthcare but that she wasn’t sure. He asked if she had thought about optometry, which started the wheels turning.

“He was really laid back and a really kind person,” said Dr. Musau. “He let me shadow him and the other doctors at the practice. I thought this seems really cool, a nice way to be in healthcare but with a normal schedule.”

Once she started shadowing she thought optometry seemed like a good option and was something she was interested in. “I am very thankful to the optometrist for just asking the question,” she said.

Dr. Musau applied to several schools with her top choices in St. Louis as they were closer to home. She did apply to the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University (PCO) but by the time the interview came around, she had several interviews lined up and was running out of time and money. She chose the College of Optometry at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.

As she had considered PCO/Salus for optometry school, it was on her radar when she was looking for residency programs.

“I looked back at PCO/Salus and knew this was a heavy clinical teaching program as well as ocular disease which are the two things I really wanted. I also knew The Eye Institute (TEI) served a really diverse community and demographic; I wanted to stay in that area so I applied there and one other program and PCO/Salus was the best fit for me,” said Dr. Musau.

So far, her residency is going well. The first few weeks took some getting used to as it’s a much bigger program compared to St. Louis where she graduated with 38 students compared to more than 120 students at PCO/Salus. She’s been busy but feels like she’s doing well so far.

She’s had a few interesting cases, a lot in the emergency service. That was another appeal of PCO/Salus and The Eye Institute – having the emergency service. It’s only been a month but she feels like she’s seen a year or two worth of eye diseases.

She thinks about her career goals every day and is content with the profession she chose and wants to work in a medical focused practice. But she can also see herself in academia doing clinical teaching part time.

She is not looking to move back to Missouri, at least not right away. “I really like the East Coast, it’s little more fast paced with a lot more to see and a lot more to do. I think there is more opportunity here too,” she said.