Dr. Michael Wallerich is a native of La Crosse, Wisconsin. In high school, he completed an apprentice optician program at his local eye doctor’s office. He completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology and studied Spanish at the University of Minnesota of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He then attended the Doctor of Optometry program at the State University of New York in New York City. For his residency program, he attended the University of California – Berkeley College of Optometry’s primary care/brain injury vision rehabilitation residency program at the Veterans Administration Palo Alto Health Care System.
Directly after his residency, Dr. Wallerich became a traveling optometrist within skilled nursing facilities, assisted living centers, rehabilitation clinics and regional hospitals throughout the state of Minnesota. Now, Dr. Wallerich practices the majority of his clinical hours at Wallerich Eye Care inside Target Optical – St. Paul. He enjoys providing necessary medical and vision eye care to all patients from the age of 6 months to his wisest patient at age 110!
From a young age, Dr. Wallerich was unable to see well far away along with other diagnosed medical eye conditions. With the help of his optometrist, he was prescribed glasses that allowed him to see the board clearly!
Why a residency in brain injury vision rehabilitation?
Dr. Wallerich translated in Spanish in the neuro-optometric rehabilitation and neuro-ophthalmology clinics at the State University of New York during his first year for several patients. After each visit, he witnessed the patient’s vision dysfunctions improving, which consequentially improved the patient’s symptoms. The treatments were reducing each patient’s symptoms (headaches, eye fatigue, double vision, etc.), which was empowering for both the provider and patient. Patient’s would explain how they planned to return to work, continue with college courses or other aspirations that seemed unlikely before. To impact someone so profoundly was important to Dr. Wallerich, which made it an easy decision to complete a residency in brain injury vision rehabilitation.
What is your educational background?
- University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
- Biology (B.S.); Minor – Spanish
- State University of New York College of Optometry
- Doctor of Optometry (O.D.)
- Empire State College
- Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
- University of California – Berkeley College of Optometry @ VA Palo Alto Health Care System
- Residency: Primary Care/Brain Injury Vision Rehabilitation
What are Dr. Wallerich’s clinical interests?
- Neuro-Optometric Evaluations
- Vision dysfunctions from traumatic (concussions, head traumas, etc.) or acquired (strokes, Parkinson’s disease, etc.) brain injuries
- Contact Lens Evaluations
- Soft Contact Lenses: distance, astigmatism correction, multi-focal contact lenses
- Hard Contact Lenses: Rigid gas permeable contacts for single vision, multi-focal options, and for corneal conditions (keratoconus, corneal ectasia, other diseases)
- Pediatric Eye Care
- Geriatric Eye Care (inpatient care within nursing facilities)
- Provide medical eye examinations for vulnerable adults within inpatient facilities throughout the metropolitan area
Outside of Optometry
- Hobbies: downhill skiing, exercising, reading non-fiction, volunteering, kayaking, hiking, gardening, board games
- Professional Associations: American Optometric Association, Minnesota Optometric Association