An article from students participating in the University of Waterloo Mentorship Program.
Authors: Alana Desouza, Melanie Chin, Simone Sitar, Alicia Kelly
We had an amazing experience through the CAOS mentorship program at the Ancaster Eye Clinic. When we greeted by two optometrists, Dr. Kathleen Hill and Dr. Tyler Brown. Both started working at this clinic the year they graduated from UWOVS and have never left! Later we were joined by another optometrist from the clinic, Dr. Christine Misener. Four students to two ODs was an amazing ratio to get all our questions answered!
We started with a tour of their newly renovated clinic. This is a full scope practice, with a well-designed circular flow from check-in, to pre-testing, to the exam lanes, and finally the brand new dispensary. Our favourite part of the office was the spacious centre exam lane that even had a fireplace in it! Another interesting feature we discovered during this office tour was an exam lane the doctors would use specifically for “Red Eye” appointments to avoid infectious cases in their own busy rooms. This office also has a small edging lab in the basement that they use to produce simple prescriptions to provide a quick turn-around time for their patients!
Dr. Hill and Dr. Brown then discussed some interesting patients with us. They showed us OCTs and fundus photos of some complex cases, asked us fun questions about our thoughts on diagnoses or management and explained how they handled the cases. What really impressed us about these doctors was their willingness to work together as a team, asking each other for help when managing patient if necessary, and just generally supporting each other!
Over dinner at a local restaurant, the three ODs shared their knowledge and experience with us. Dr. Brown discussed the benefits of about having good working relationships with local optometrists and ophthalmologists. Dr. Misener encouraged us all to get involved with the OAO (or our respective provincial association) to have more say in where the future of our profession is headed. Dr. Hill gave us tips about how to make a name for yourself as a new new graduate. We loved the dynamic these three young professionals had for optometry. The ODs also gave us guidance about how to set yourself apart from other interviewees– they suggested speaking about what you are able to offer a practice, rather than focusing on what a practice may offer you. Their passion and enthusiasm was contagious, and inspired us to strive to work in an office where your colleagues could also be your friends.
Thank your Ancaster Eye Clinic for the amazing experience!