Dr. Justin Rapp is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. He then obtained his doctoral degree in 2011 from SUNY College of Optometry. Dr. Rapp's clinical experience exposed him to a diverse array of areas ranging from Ocular Disease, Vision Therapy, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, and Specialty Contact Lenses. He received advanced training in Primary Care and Ocular Disease, completing externships at the Tucson VA Medical Center and OMNI Surgical Center in Atlanta. Dr. Rapp has extensive work experience with a variety of ocular pathology, as well as dry eye, and refractive conditions. He is licensed to practice Optometry in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey and is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
When not in the office, he can probably be found at a Crossfit gym or cooking up something delicious.
Why did you decide to become an optometrist?
I grew up playing in my cousin's office, who had his optometry practice built in the garage of his house. I specifically remember being hyper-focused on the phoropter because I loved the way the lenses moved around and around. At 8 years old, I made a project on what I wanted to be when I grew up, and after astronaut and comedian, optometrist came in as #3! I'd consider that as an accomplishment achieved!
What's your favorite part about working at ECA?
Favorite part is joining a team that seems so supportive of one another. I am so excited to work with all of my coworkers and to be able to provide so many different solutions to a variety of vision problems through each doctor's individual specialty and skills.
What is your most inspirational patient story?
My most inspirational patient story was working with a patient who kept saying she felt "strange." She was having a hard time focusing mentally and visually, occasionally reported having double vision, and her eyelids kept drooping throughout the day. Even her speech was somewhat affected. She came to me for new glasses to fix the vision issues, but confided that she didn't trust her primary doctor to address these problems. After a few tests and consultation with a nearby neurologist, we were able to identify a neurological condition called myasthenia gravis. This patient started to feel better after starting the appropriate medication. It improved her quality of life drastically and I made a lifelong friend/patient.
What is your patient care philosophy?
To provide every patient with the utmost professional care, as well as personalized attention, with a little bit of laughter on the side!
What would you want every patient to know about their eye health?
Just because you can see "well" doesn't mean you have healthy eyes and a functional visual system. Everyone needs to consult with an eye care provider for baseline screening!
What is it about the practice that propels you forward, that helps you develop your passions and enjoy your work day to day?
Patient connection, like talking to my patients, making personal connections, patient satisfaction when the patient walks out and tells me, “that exam was so thorough,” or “I appreciate your time” or more specifically, “I feel so much better” or “my glasses are so much better.” So just the satisfaction from patients, that's what makes me happy. And I also really like all of my coworkers. So it's a good staff and appreciative patients. And that's what drives me to keep going forward.
It’s very important to be able to communicate with patients on their level, in their language. I speak Spanish and Portuguese. Taking things that are complicated and explaining them and translating them from medical language to normal English, or from English to Spanish or something along that line, just taking a difficult thing that people don't understand and making it understandable to them.