An article from students participating in the University of Waterloo Mentorship Program.
Authors: April Hall, Nicole Maione, Manoja Moulitharan & Sarah Oh
It was fantastic to talk to Dr. Nikolakakis about the flow of his office and how he interacts with patients on a personal basis throughout his daily routine. He did well to maximize the health care and optometric facilities available with such little space. His ability to personalize the exam rooms along with having up to date equipment was very impressive. It allowed for a strong focus of the eye exam to be towards the ocular health aspect of the patient and connecting with them on a personal level.
The staff team was very interactive and dynamic. From the receptionists, optician, newly practicing optometrist, and vision training associates, the team work and staff interactions made the clinic a very positive and uplifting place to be.
One highlight of the mentorship was taking the office tour to the Vision Training facility. It was there that we learned Dr. Nikolakakis recently added Vision Training to his practice over the last year. His inspiration for expanding his practice into the binocular vision training avenue was his son, which was a very touching story. We had the opportunity to do a trial run of some binocular vision tests and training methods to help improve certain vision problems. We also chatted with the friendly Vision Therapist, Sarah Zohar, who was extremely knowledgeable about neurophysiology and it was clear that her knowledge and skills were a big asset to Dr. Nik’s clinic. Dr. Nik and his team successfully demonstrated the importance of collaboration and mutual respect, as each team member contributed different strengths that benefited the clinic and its patients.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience to be able to do a mentorship with Dr. Nikolakakis. Getting a hands-on feel for how a day-to-day life in an optometry office can be like, and the opportunities that can come about from a small but growing practice as our profession continues to develop and improve was very inspiring.