Dylan Franchi, O.D.
North Valley Eye Care
We all have some sense of our ideal career from an early age, though it's often a passing fancy or something that eventually fades as we grow up, rooted in adventure or heroism. Dr. Dylan Franchi chose the heroism path, knowing from an early age he would someday regard the medical field as home. He had his first experience in the world of medicine as a student at Paradise High School. Tasked with a class project to explore a potential career or volunteer effort, Dylan's father introduced him to his optometrist and friend, Dr. Robert DiPietro, and the two clicked immediately. “I really liked him right off the bat." Dr. Franchi said,
"He was kind, thoughtful, and was doing something that truly helped people. I also liked his flexible schedule. He had done well for himself, but he still had the time to be a family man and coach his son's little league team. As a result, optometry became really attractive to me.”
Dr. Franchi continued to work in the optometry field, shadowing Doctors Rudick and Barthelow of Ridge Eve Institute and North Valley Eye Care during his senior year and through his time at Butte College and Chico State, where he majored in cell and molecular biology. His time with the doctors afforded him a better understanding of the complexities of optometry and ophthalmology, respectively.
He sat in on a number of Dr. Barthelow's cataract surgeries and even worked for the two as an ophthalmic technician. By the time Dr. Franchi was ready to graduate from college, it was clear optometry was the right fit for him. He enrolled in UC Berkeley's School of Optometry and set out to become an optometrist. "The curriculum at UC Berkeley was really rigorous throughout optometry school,” Dr. Franchi remembered. "It was what I expected, but it was definitely hard work.”
“I really liked my time there. I learned an incredible amount about optometry and met a lot of really wonderful people. I kept in touch with Doctors. Barthelow and Rudick while I was in grad school, and they offered me a job at their clinics when I graduated in May. Naturally, I accepted! It was incredible to have the opportunity to work where I started my journey to optometry." Back at home in Paradise, Dr. Franchi now works for the Ridge Eye Care family, splitting his time between Chico's North Valley Eye Care, Paradise's Ridge Eye Institute, and Oroville's Table Mountain Eye Care. Throughout his journey, Dr. Franchi developed a close bond with his mentor, Dr. Rudick. Dr. Franchi said, "Dr. Rudick really introduced me to the world of eye care. I shadowed him in clinics as often as I could during my senior year of high school and throughout my undergraduate. He took me down to UC Berkeley to join him in a business class talk he was giving. He even brought me in and let me join him and Dr. Barthelow during a diabetic screening clinic in Sacramento. He taught me so much about optometry and what to expect in terms of the quality of life of an optometrist. Every patient encounter I joined him on was a unique learning experience. Now, I get to work here as a doctor alongside him, and I'm excited to give back to my community. Paradise has always been home to me. Everyone here cared so much for me growing up, and I can’t wait to provide that same level of care for all of them now.”