By Anthony J. Machcinski
With a kind heart and a jovial personality, Dr. Maria Domingues can be seen moving about her office caring for patients of all ages, making what could be a nuisance of a visit to the eye doctor into a pleasant experience.
However, her journey into the world of optometry wasn’t along a conventional path. She enrolled at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), intending to pursue engineering, but the young woman realized that her choice of major had lost its luster and looked for something different.
“I had a friend that suggested that I would be good with patients,” Domingues explained. “I was looking for different graduate programs and optometry just caught my eye.”
After receiving her optometry degree from NJIT, Domingues took her revitalized passion to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where she would receive her doctor of optometry degree in 2009 from Nova Southeastern College of Optometry.
About a year ago, the Kearny native returned to New Jersey, seeing patients in Irvington. It was during her time in Irvington that Domingues was able to see some of her hard work pay off.
“When I opened my first practice in Irvington, the patients had many (eye-disease related) problems,” Domingues explained. “I was finally able to see why I did the things I did during optometry school. It was a really good preparation for what was to come.”
From Irvington, Domingues was able to partner with her brother-in-law and open a second office in Lyndhurst, allowing her to practice even closer to her hometown.
“Dr. (Matthew) Zeiler was retiring,” Domingues said, when asked about how she arrived in Lyndhurst. “When he retired, it just happened to be a good fit. I had a few days off and this just fit right in.”
In the near future, Domingues hopes to enlarge her business by bringing in her sister, who is currently in optometry school herself.
“When my sister graduates, we can try to expand,” Domingues explained. “Maybe, we can build up a chain one day. I’m just really fortunate.”
Regardless of how many offices she has, Domingues’ focus is on one aspect of the business she loves more than anything.
“The interaction with the people that I meet day-to-day,” Domingues said. “Everyone has a different story. You really can make an impact on people’s lives.”
Dr. Maria Domingues and Pink Vision Associates are located at 348 Ridge Road in Lyndhurst and at 1068 Clinton Ave. in Irvington.