One of the great things about our office is that we have very passionate volunteers that would like to pursue the career as an optometrist. The most common question I hear is “Dr. Tung, why did you want to become an optometrist?”. They always expect a childhood story of my first pair of glasses but that’s not the reason why I fell in love with Optometry. The main reason is because of the versatility of optometry. As I learned more about optometry, I realized it was more than just examining for a new glasses prescription. I tried to learned every aspect of optometry and I will share some of my experiences with you.
1. Academia – After I graduated from optometry school, I was accepted to a prestigious residency program. I learned from the world’s renowned University of Chicago ophthalmologists and was able to build my knowledge and experience exponentially. I also had the opportunity to teach at ICO and trained 4th year students. During my professional development time, I was able to publish some journals and posters at meetings towards my fellowship
2. Retail Optometry – I was able to work at Lenscrafters and gained the valuable experience on how to run a business. This was a great stepping stone on opening my own practice and this led me to the opening of our private practice.
3. Private Practice Optometry- Our vision was to open a practice where we had full autonomy. We were able to open a clinic using the newest technologies to provide the best care. Having our own business allows us the freedom to make all the decisions. We decided to start an optometric intern volunteer program in our clinic. It’s great opportunity for the volunteers and at the same, I am able to share my passion for teaching.
4. Political Optometry – Optometry is a profession that is constantly changing. I wanted to give back to my profession so I volunteered for my association. As I was getting more involved with different committees, I ran to become a board of director. As I gained more experience, I was elected to serve as the President for my association from 2013-2015. During my tenure, we were meeting with different government, MLA’s and other stakeholders. I’ve gained valuable leadership and appreciative for the opportunity.