It’s amazing how 25 years have flown by! In taking time to reflect on my career to date, I am pleased to share with you a few examples of the growth and opportunities that I have experienced as an optometrist.
I fondly recall the day when I got my first pair of contact lenses. I was just 16 years old, and so enthralled by the whole process that I came home and immediately started researching the world of vision care. I learned about the different eye care career choices, and decided then that this was the path I would follow.
I directed my high school path in the sciences, and then entered university with an unwavering focus on applying to optometry school. It was a nice feeling to know so completely what I wanted to do. My inclination towards optometry was so strong that it was almost a fault; even my mom secretly thought I may have been putting all my eggs in one basket! Fortunately, two years of undergrad at the University of Regina resulted in my acceptance to the University of Waterloo in the fall of 1987. Going to school in Waterloo was my first time away from home, and in order to get there I had to take my first flight. These firsts were all part of the excitement: I was optometry bound!
Optometry school was an eventful time in my life from which I will always carry many memories. One key event that sparked what would become a theme through my future career was taking an opportunity to go to Jamaica as an intern for an eye care project. I spent two weeks along with other optometry, medical, dental, and nursing students. Together, we worked amongst the community, hearing warm greetings as we walked to the clinic, and experiencing the amazement of some patients seeing things clearly for the first time in a long time.
I graduated in 1991 and spent a year covering holiday and sick leave locum work in and around Toronto. That work was satisfying, but I missed home. I decided to head west, and ultimately landed in Calgary. As I got settled, I continued covering shifts across over ten optometry offices of various types and sizes for another year. This allowed me to realize that I wanted to be part of a group practice, and ultimately to become a partner.
I met Dr. Murphy during that first year in Calgary, and through his enthusiastic generosity I ended up working at the satellite practice in Three Hills, Alberta.
I slowly picked up hours in the city practice as time progressed, ultimately earned a partnership in the practice in 1995. By combining my efforts with those of the other fine doctors in the clinic, we have gradually built the practice to its current four locations. We also have a dedicated lens edging lab, eleven doctors, and over 35 staff!
The last 25 years have been a time of personal and professional growth for me, and I couldn’t have done it without our optometry group. Through the years, I have had the pleasure of working with over 25 doctors at our clinics, have provided guidance to over 25 student interns, and have taken care of at least 10,000patients, and counting! Outside of work, I have attended well over the required 500hours of continuing education to ensure that my skills are relevant, and I have contributed many worthwhile hours of charity work. Not to mention that the required travel for the education and eye care charity projects has provided me the experience to visit many places across the globe. In October 2016 I joined a team of doctors in a eye care project in Malawi, Africa. We worked with Optometry students at the University of Mzuzu, and travelled to remote villages to help those students be better prepared to help their population when they graduate. We also helped out at Sara’s Children, an orphanage in the southern part of Malawi, and were able to share many donations with the children. It was a very special visit for all of us participating in the project.
All these years later, I still have my original enthusiasm for Optometry. I maintain that excitement by always keeping up with innovative diagnostic and treatment plans and accepting the challenges of complex eye care cases. The most important thing that keeps me going, though, is interacting with my longtime patients and their families, and with new families alike. At each eye exam, I enjoy finding and providing the best eye care solutions and recommendations, while sharing life’s rewards and challenges with you and your family. I have enjoyed the journey of 25 years in Optometry, and look forward to providing many more years of vision and eye health care service.
Message to Patients: “Your eyes are the window to your health. I love to guide my patients towards healthy choices for their eyes and general health needs. Selecting a nutritious diet with many fruits, veggies, and excellent sources of omega threes, along with appropriate exercise are important for optimal health! Make sure to wear sunglasses and keep balance in your life.”