President & President-Elect’s Welcome

President’s Welcome

I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to represent Canadian students of optometry as the president for the UW Canadian Association of Optometry Students (CAOS) chapter for the 2019-2020 school year. I am passionate about optometry and as our profession continues to change and grow, CAOS is an association that is also changing and growing. We are striving to find new and innovative ways in which students can contribute to the future of optometry and vision care. I strongly believe that all students should get involved in their profession as early as possible – whether that’s through networking with experts, advocating for the profession, participating in community outreach, or simply educating others about the importance of eyecare. Through CAOS, I and my executive team are confident we will bring many such opportunities to the students, allowing them to make the most of their professional education and smoothly transition from student to optometrist.

We currently have numerous projects underway to help students become the best optometrists possible. However, some specific goals that I hope to accomplish this year include:

  • Continue offering the programs and services that CAOS has been offering in the past which include several professional development lectures from experts in the profession, community initiatives like iCare Eyecare, and connecting optometry students with ODs through unique opportunities like our mentorship program.
  • Work towards growing all our programs by increasing support from doctors through representing the student voice at CAO Congress 2019 in Victoria
  • Support the University of Montreal and US CAOS chapters to bring them many of the benefits (ie. lecture series, mentorship) that students at UW enjoy and partake in. This will allow us to unite all Canadian Optometry Students.
  • Expand our current iCare Eyecare community outreach program by providing additional services as well as catering to members of the community outside of the University of Waterloo.
  • Launch our new optometry student connect system where current optometry students can sign up to be paired with a university undergraduate student who may be interested in optometry.
  • Inform students about the current challenges that face the profession and voice student concerns to the national and provincial associations through representation at the Optometry Leader’s Forum.
  • Establish additional perks for CAOS members including special rates for local vendors
  • Release more YouTube videos and Instagram content to increase public awareness for the role of an optometrist as a primary health care provider, while removing any stigmas that are present today towards this profession.
  • Finetune the framework of our organization to strengthen our foundation and enable us to grow as an association alongside our growing profession.

As part of this role, I vow to work for all students of optometry, so that they may grasp the most out of our education. Please browse through our resources to find the programs and events that fit your needs. Should you have any inquiries, or if you would just like to chat, please feel free to contact me!

Best Regards,

Raphaela So

CAOS President 2019-2020

President-Elect’s Welcome

I am excited to enter this role as president elect this upcoming year. I firmly believe that students are usually sheltered from the realities of the profession, since they are not customarily exposed to it, which is something that I am very passionate about. We are entering an ever changing field and I view it as one of our responsibilities in CAOS to equip students to embrace that change. Through our mentorship, political advocacy, and professional development fronts and many more, I am excited to continue to push for something better for our profession, starting with the students. 

It is important that we understand that though we are not yet doctors of optometry, we are still members of the optometric community, and with that we should be actively involved with these discussions as early as we can. In school we learn the practice of optometry, but with CAOS, I hope that we may be able to expose students to more about what optometry is, and what we can actually do. I hope that students may be able to think outside of the clinical practice, and think about how we can integrate as a part of a healthcare team, and advocate for our patients and the profession; if we don’t, then no one else will. With this passion and drive, I am excited to continue to build upon what CAOS has done in the past, and see it to new heights. Thank you!

Best Regards,

Cedrick Mah

CAOS President-Elect 2019-2020

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