Author: Chloe Desrocher
Claire Desrocher is a first-year Biomedical Science Student at the University of Waterloo. She is hoping to attend optometry school after she completes her undergraduate degree. In her free time, she enjoys piano, horseback riding and knitting.
I recently watched Dr. Alissa Coyne and Dr. Harbir Sian’s optometry shadowing sessions. Where I live we are currently under lockdown and as a result, no optometrists in my community are able to allow me to shadow. I am so thankful that I have discovered Pre-Health Shadowing so that I am still able to get valuable experience safely from qualified professionals working in a variety of different settings.
From these presentations, I have gained a better understanding of how wide the scope of practice is for optometrists and how important it is to have regular eye exams. I really enjoyed learning about how diabetes and hypertension can be detected through an eye exam and loved seeing the real patient examples included in the shadowing presentations. It was very interesting to hear how patients are often referred from the optometrist to other healthcare professionals in order to diagnose conditions accurately. The optometrists were able to provide great advice about optometry school admissions. After these sessions, I spent time further researching optometry programs to make sure that I understood the prerequisite courses and other requirements. I was not aware that many schools require the GRE so I am glad to have discovered this early in my pre-optometry journey. I also really appreciated the advice given about obtaining letters of recommendation. From these presentations, I gained an appreciation for the many different residencies that can be completed after optometry school. I had no idea that there were so many different specialties and will definitely research these areas further.
I am planning to watch the other optometry shadowing sessions through Pre-Health Shadowing in the near future to expand my knowledge of the profession. I have also scheduled phone calls with local optometrists in my community to discuss their career paths. Pre-Health Shadowing has sparked my enthusiasm for optometry and I hope to learn as much as I can through virtual shadowing until in-person shadowing is again possible.