An article from students participating in the University of Waterloo Mentorship Program.
Authors: Adrienne Chan, Katrina Johrendt, Hyeran Lee & Clayton Switzer
Dr. Bernardi welcomed us into his clinic to share his practice and experiences with us. Out of school he had originally worked at a downtown practice in London before deciding he wanted to run his own clinic. His clinic has one main exam room with an additional one that they use for pretesting and visual fields. He also has a full dispensary. We discussed how important your workspace is for your comfort and success; how dispensing low vision aids can be an asset to your practice; and how London is becoming a bit more progressive in terms of interprofessional collaboration.
When Dr. Bernardi designed his clinic he decided to give it a “homier” feel to contrast the city atmosphere. When choosing equipment he recommended to us to not cheap out on equipment that we will be using every day (ex. slit lamp, phoropter, a good chair – with back support!). He also explained to us the value of a keratometer in your practice, since many people have irregular corneas and this tool becomes invaluable in understanding why they are seeing what they see.
Dr. Bernardi is one of 3 ADP-authorized, low vision aid distributer in London. These aids can prove to be invaluable to people with low vision issues.
As an optometrist in London, Dr. Bernardi refers to other optometrists and ophthalmologists and he imparted to us that we shouldn’t be afraid to refer to others when we need assistance or a second opinion. He also gave us some advice when writing these letters: stay to the point, include why you are referring them and the findings that you have that led you to that referral. He also told us about participating in interprofessional rounds with ophthalmologists and how interesting it can be to see past our own day to day to understand the big picture of eye care. Overall we had a very informative time visiting Dr. Bernardi’s clinic and we are very grateful for his time spent with us to share his experiences.