Tell us a little about yourself – you completed your BOptom at UNSW in 2013 – what have you been up to since then?
I have been working as a full time optometrist in corporate stores in Canberra and Sydney. In the last 2 years, I have been working as a locum as well which has taken me all over Sydney and regional NSW.
What inspired you to do further postgraduate study and to enrol in an MOptom at UNSW?
As a private practicing optometrist, I wanted to expand my skill set to behavioural optometry. Working in western Sydney, I see a lot of children with binocular vision and visual perception disorders. I want to be able to offer management options through vision training as spectacles are not the solution to all cases.
Furthermore, skills in fittings of hard contact lenses for managing complex corneal conditions are a real bonus for any optometrist in clinical practice.
Have you done any previous postgraduate study?
No, this is my first postgraduate course.
What are some of the highlights of your student experience so far? How will this be relevant to your work as an optometrist?
So far we have submitted for publication a literature review on impact of digital devices on binocular vision, tear film and dry eye. The topic is extremely relevant in society and knowledge I have gained through research I incorporate into advice for patients I see. The research process was arduous but rewarding, in retrospect, I was helped every step of the way by my supervisors.
Once in clinical practice, I think often we forget to refresh our knowledge by reading research articles and this course has brought me to research as a source of continued professional development.
I have also done an Ocular disease course which has been a great refresher of undergraduate knowledge and any new developments that have occurred since. Being run by CFEH, the course is full of case studies and clinical relevance. Best part is that its all online which allows me to work through it at my own pace.
What are your career plans once you graduate?
I plan on continuing work as full time optometrist in Sydney.
Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of doing postgraduate coursework study at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW?
Have a look at the course on UNSW Handbook which explains the subject content. If you cannot commit to the full Masters Program, there are options for shorter postgraduate courses such as Graduate Diploma (36 units) and Graduate Certificate (18 units).
The MOptom course will certainly add to the abilities of any practicing optometrist and being able to chose which subject to do when makes it easier to fit studying in with personal and work commitments. There’s plenty of support available from lecturers and SOVS staff. Fi, at SOVS, is always helpful in discussing courses to help you plan for the course ahead.