Diva of the Week – Angela Bernardo, OD

Ambassador - Los Angeles, CA - Chapter

The featured Diva for this week is Dr. Angela Bernardo. Read the feature to discover why she says leaving her practice because of a shift in priorities was a good business decision.

1. Tell us a little bit about you?

I am originally from upstate New York, the eldest of five kids in a big Italian family. I am also part Hawaiian (which feels unique); my grandparents met in Hawaii when my grandfather was stationed at Pearl Harbor. I am divorced but blessed with two amazing daughters, ages 11 and 14. We have lived in Los Angeles for the last ten years, but I am still an East Coast girl at heart. One of my favorite things to do is to cook a big meal on Sundays with my mom, and the rest of my family comes over; we try to get together every week as they have all migrated out this way. I love creating these memories for my girls.

2. What made you decide to become an Optometrist?

When I was thirteen, I was already at -6.00, and my optometrist put me into contact lenses, which changed my life. I went from thick, tinted plastic frames to contacts that gave me the confidence to try out for cheerleading in 9th grade and make the Varsity team. I will never forget that day or the day I was accepted into Optometry school.

3. What Optometry school did you go to?

New England College of Optometry

4. Where do you currently practice and do you offer any specialty services?

National Networking Optometrist for Vision To Learn.

5. Why did you join Optometry Divas?

To meet other women that are interested in expanding their network.

6. Name 1 to 3 hurdles you personally faced in your career and how did you overcome them?

One of the biggest hurdles I faced in my career was selling my practice that I built up for six years in Florida to start a family and move to Boston. I loved my patients, many had followed me from a previous practice I was at and it was an extremely difficult decision to make. I definitely struggled with my identity and how to adapt to transitioning away from my practice. I missed my patients and the pride of ownership but I also loved being a first time mom. In hindsight, it was a good business decision as my priorities had shifted and the practice deserved someone that would put more time and effort into it.

7. If you could go back to when you were a student, what advice would you give yourself?

I would tell my younger self not to stress out as much as I did during my National boards (my hair was literally falling out from it) and focus on the importance of a work-life balance and self-care. I also would offer a reminder to take breaks from studying and be in the present moment instead of constantly worrying about the future and what happens after graduation.

Do you have a product or side business you’d like for us to include in your feature? If so, write a brief description of the product and/or service below plus the link where the readers can learn more about it.

I have been working with Vision To Learn for the last ten years and am proud to be part of the organization, which has grown from one van in 2012 to numerous clinics in fourteen states. Vision To Learn is a non-profit offering eye care to children in underserved communities with mobile clinics that travel and offer school-based eye care at no cost to their families. Readers can learn more about the organization at www.visiontolearn.org

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