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There are a lot of reasons Alyssa Lancaster, OD '21 chose to do a residency at ICO, but foremost among them was the opportunity to continue treating patients in the IEI and to gain valuable teaching experience while helping current ICO students.

As a member of ICO’s most recent graduating class, she externed in the midst of a pandemic and bravely kept her chin up when boards were canceled hours before they were to take place. After four years as a Division I athlete at Siena College in upstate New York, she chose to return to the Midwest, drawn by the quality of care we provide at Illinois Eye Institute and our community’s commitment to the neighborhood. “There is just no place that beats the ICO clinical experience,” says Dr. Lancaster.

Now a resident in Ocular Disease/Primary Care, she balances her time between treating patients, precepting students, and serving as an instructor for the second-year labs. She is joined by nine other residents, many of whom are also recent graduates. “ICO students want to stay because they know how good the clinical experience is here," she says. As an Ocular Disease/Primary Care resident, Alyssa treats a wide range of patients with a variety of diseases. “Every day we are faced with new and challenging cases. We are proud to be treating the patients we see. Across the board, it’s understood that we treat all patients equally. That commitment continues to draw me to ICO".

As a resident, a lot of her time is spent in the IEI, but thankfully, after four years of optometry school, she has a little more time for hobbies. She's joined a bowling league, is teaching herself guitar, and has picked up a few books for pleasure for the first time in many years. Whenever she can, she gets out with her dog and partner as well. Tater Tot, their beagle-coonhound mix, comes with them to concerts at Millennium Park, street food festivals throughout the city, and of course on their daily walks. 

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