An article from students participating in the University of Waterloo Mentorship Program.
We would like to thank Dr. MacAlpine for welcoming us into his wonderful practice and sharing his own personal experiences and knowledge regarding working in the field of Optometry. The day started with a tour of his practice in Aurora, Dr. Robert J. MacAlpine Optometry, formerly known as Dr. Barry M. Wiseman & Associates. He discussed how he had recently purchased the practice and had plans to renovate, favouring a more modern, open concept design, highlighting the importance of a clinic that is space-efficient, aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and one that provides comfort to patients. We then sat in his office where he shared his experiences, thoughts, and advice over pizza. Dr. MacAlpine had completed his undergrad at Queen’s University, then moved to Boston to obtain his Optometry degree at New England College of Optometry. He stayed in Boston for numerous years and started a family before eventually moving back to practice in Canada. Due to this, he was able to offer us a unique perspective on the profession as he had worked in both the U.S. and Canada. It was inspiring to listen to him talk so passionately about the profession. We discussed how the profession was before, how he thinks the profession will be in the future, how important networking with other professionals is, achieving a work-life balance, and many other topics. One of the greatest advice that Dr. MacAlpine had given us was that we should take strong initiative of our own education and participate in as much extracurriculars outside of school as possible. Through this, we can grow our knowledge regarding the profession, network with our colleagues and form stronger relationships, and continually improve our own skills and abilities. Overall, this experience was enlightening, and we greatly appreciate Dr. MacAlpine’s willingness and enthusiasm for taking the time off and giving us this opportunity.