An article from students participating in the University of Waterloo Mentorship Program.
Authors: Alice Xiao, Kaitlyn Sinclair, Dr. Gregory Millar, Rachel Ng, Patrick Lam, Sejutie Alam
Dr. Gregory Millar runs a small practice in London, Ontario, with a few other optometrists and his administrator Catherine Dallas. There, he conducts comprehensive eye exams, with a special interest in ocular disease and geriatric patients. The small size of the practice gives him the ability to have more of a relationship with his patients. At the same time, it allows him to incorporate a lot of technology into his exams to ensure the best health for his patients.
The practice itself was set up in a previously existing home. We arrived to find a cozy waiting room and office that made you feel as if you had just entered someone’s house. After receiving a warm welcome by Dr. Gregory Millar and his administrator Catherine Dallas, we were shown around the practice. They introduced us to the showroom first, which contained a wide selection of eyewear, and then showed us around the examining rooms. Dr. Millar and Catherine graciously allowed us to personally experience the combined OCT/fundus machine, which had a program that compared your results to others in your demographic. Dr. Miller’s enthusiasm for technology was exciting and really helped to stress the benefits of tests such as the OCT machine to ensure the best care for his patients. His driven personality and a family history of doctors was reflected in the success of his practice which he continues to grow. It was an eye-opening experience! In the adjacent room downstairs, Dr. Millar also had his own lens making lab, where he shared his experiences with making his own lenses in comparison to buying them. Last but not least, we were shown the office space for the administrators upstairs where bedrooms previously existed when this house was occupied.
With several decades of experience running his own clinic, Dr. Millar was full of helpful tips on what to look out for if we ever decide to start our own practices (e.g. what companies they recommended to buy machines from). They explained new technology, and provided administrative insights on how to successfully run a practice. Afterwards, they took us out to lunch where we asked any questions we still had about being both an optometrist and a business owner.