Regina Tran, O.D.
Optometry Divas Member Since 2017
In our quest to fulfill our mission to Empower, Connect and Promote the success of women ODs, we have created this weekly feature to promote our amazing members across the country. Their stories will inspire you to dream big and reach higher!
The featured Diva for this week is Dr. Regina Tran. Read the full feature below to learn how a makeover at a Lancôme counter in a mall led to a career in Optometry.
1. Tell us a little bit about you?
I am a native Floridian, born in Hollywood, FL and raised in Orlando, FL. I am happily married to a fellow OD, whom I met in optometry school and has made me laugh or smile every day ever since. I may profess to be a shopaholic, but it’s under control. LOL! I am actually quite personally introverted, but strive to be professionally extroverted.
I am somewhat of a workaholic, but it’s only because I am passionate about what I do. I love spending time with family and friends, and can’t help but binge watch shows or movies at home in between busy spurts with work.
2. What made you decide to become in Optometrist?
I was working as a part-time beauty advisor at the Lancôme counter in The Oviedo Mall while attending the University of Central Florida (UCF). It would be there that I realized how much I enjoy the one-on-one personal interactions with clients, making recommendations to improve their well-being, and simply just listening to what’s going on in their lives while doing their makeovers or consultations.
I also discovered that I loved being able to help people feel good about themselves while doing something to improve or make some kind of difference in their lives, even if it’s just for one day. However, I did not enjoy the constant pressure to make sales and the restrictions of clocking in/out. I realized that I wanted a career that would give me the option to work on my own terms. These realizations propelled me consider a career in healthcare.
It was also at this counter where I met a local optometrist, whom I am incredibly fortunate to have as a life-long mentor (amongst many others I’ve been blessed to have as mentors along my career). She sat down for a makeover in my counter. During our conversation, I told her that Optometry was one of the career options I was considering. She was so excited to hear that!
She immediately offered me the opportunity to shadow her in her practice. I was so excited about the opportunity that I wanted to start immediately. I went on to become her Optometric Technician and worked for her for a while. My time in her office gave me the hands-on experience I needed to confirm my decision to apply for Optometry school.
3. What Optometry school did you go to?
4. Where do you currently practice?
5. Do you offer any specialty services in your practice?
Specialty/Scleral Contact Lens and Dry Eye services
6. Name 1 to 3 hurdles you personally faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
Starting a private practice can feel so overwhelming that many times a lot of us don’t even know where to start. This is a hurdle because it’s a position that can make you feel stuck and helpless to even take the first step forward.
In my case, the biggest hurdle I faced was taking that first step. I remember reviewing my own timeline that I had for myself for achieving personal and career goals. I always knew that I wanted to start my own practice and I had a specific time in which I planned to accomplish this goal. As that deadline was approaching, I struggled to determine if the timing was right to pursue that goal.
However, I soon realized that there would never be a right time for such a major life changing decision. The challenges of starting a private practice would be the same whether I started now or at any other time in the future. It would never get any easier!
So, I decided to take the plunge. However, before I took the plunge, I did my homework. I set out to talk to several colleagues and mentors to gather information. In my research, I met many great mentors and successful business owners in Optometry and in other industries.
The wealth of knowledge and support I received from these amazing mentors, helped give me the courage and confidence I needed to take that first step into private practice. I am so glad, I didn’t let fear stop me. In retrospect, I wished I had taken that leap sooner!
7. If you could go back to when you were a student, what advice would you give yourself?
If I could go back, I’d tell myself to do the following:
- Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions, even seemingly naive or silly ones, because not knowing is worse than not asking.
- Your failures only help you grow thicker skin for the real world ahead of you, if you learn from them.
- Constantly self-reflect and continually have a self-improvement mindset.
- Don’t fear change, as that fear only creates more resistance and limitations for yourself.
To contact Regina you can click on her social media profile links below or visit her practice website – TheEyeAvenue.com.