Student Doctor of the Month

Every month the Canadian Association of Optometry Students recognizes and celebrates an outstanding Canadian student doctor of optometry for their contributions to optometry. This student exemplifies desire and commitment to further optometry as a profession. Whether through political activism, community outreach or academic research, their actions and dedication help lift optometry to a new horizons. Their character is one that inspires others to rally behind them and is committed to improving the society in which they operate.

These incredible individuals are either nominated by either a fellow colleague, community member or an academic faculty member. All nominations are due on the 15th of each month and will be reviewed by the CAOS executive board. Please submit all submissions to Eligibility requires the candidate to be a Canadian citizen studying at a recognized Canadian, American or international school of optometry.

December 2018: Samantha Wong

Samantha Wong is a fourth year optometry student at the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO). She was born in Toronto, Ontario and raised in Markham, Ontario. Samantha completed her Honours Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto, double majoring in Human Biology (Health & Disease) and Cell & Molecular Biology. Samantha’s optometric journey started as an optometric technician and optician assistant at a private practice in downtown Toronto. She also became a volunteer vision mate with CNIB to assist blind or partially sighted individuals.


Samantha is actively involved in the student community at ICO. She has held an executive board position with the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association chapter at ICO since her first year of studies and was eventually elected as President in her third year of studies. Samantha also serves as the Vice President of the Gold Key Optometric Society and a Lunch & Learn Coordinator for the Cornea and Contact Lens Society at ICO. She is also an active member in the Private Practice Club and Canadian Association of Optometry Students at ICO. Additionally, Samantha is a translator for the Illinois Eye Institute, conducting and translating examinations in Cantonese and French.


Outside of ICO, Samantha has been active in various optometric events. Samantha is currently a student fellow for the American Optometric Association. She also attended Optometry’s Meet in Washington DC where she rallied alongside her colleagues to advocate for optometry on Capitol Hill.



Since starting optometry school, Samantha has developed a passion in ocular disease and contact lenses. She aspires to pursue these optometric specialities further after graduation. Samantha was fortunate to rotate though Omni Eye Services in New Jersey and the Southern Nevada Healthcare System VA in Las Vegas where she was able to gain experience as a clinician in an OD/OMD comanagement and hospital setting. She is currently rotating through Pine Cone Vision Center, a private practice located in Minnesota. Outside of optometry, Samantha enjoys trying new restaurants, travelling, figure skating, and snowboarding.

Past Student Doctors of the Month

November 2018: Tara Mahvelati
October 2018: Jennifer Chan
September 2018: Joanne Qiao
August 2018: : Alexandra Fortier