NextGEN Canada Event 2024

EyeCare Business Canada proudly presented the 2nd Annual “Opportunities & Options” event from University of Waterloo and live cast to Watch Parties to Canadian students at US Optometry Schools.

A Gathering Like No Other

The NextGEN OD Canada meeting, held on March 28, struck the perfect balance between in-person engagement and digital inclusivity. Hosted at the University of Waterloo’s Federation Hall and simultaneously broadcasted via Zoom, the event connected Canadian student optometrists from across North America, including watch parties from NECO, Michigan College, and MCPHS. The event welcomed over 100 students in-person and more than 50 online attendees.

NextGEN OD Student ambassadorsThis distinctive hybrid meeting format was orchestrated by Eye Care Business Canada, significantly enriched by the invaluable contributions of the NextGEN Canada Student Ambassadors, who expertly hosted both the local and online facets of the event.

Innovative Engagement and Networking Opportunities
The live event began with students embarking on a journey through sponsor exhibits, guided by a passport card system designed to encourage exploration and engagement. Separate prize pools for the live event at Waterloo and online attendees added an extra layer of interaction and anticipation.

Natasha Reyes, (OD Candidate 2026 UW), NextGEN Student Ambassador kicked off the meeting and shared hosting duties with her remote Student Ambassador colleagues, Nyah Miranda (NECO), Sameer Majumdar (MCPHS) and Stephanie Mathews (MCO).

Spotlight on Sponsors

IRIS, Optometry Giving Sight, FYi doctors
Left to right: IRIS The Visual Group, Optometry Giving Sight, FYidoctors
CRO/Bausch + Lomb/Specsavers
Left to right: Clinical & Refractive Optometry, Bausch + Lomb, Specsavers Canada
OSI - Eye Recommend, ROI Corp
Left to right: Optometric Services Inc., Eye Recommend, ROI Corp.

Presentations from Visionary Sponsors, including Bausch + Lomb, FYidoctors, Specsavers, and IRIS, offered students a window into the diverse opportunities within the optometry field.  Collectively the presentations provided valuable lessons on career development, technological advancements, and insights into market trends

The event showcased insights from a broad spectrum of professionals, including senior executives with optometric backgrounds and more recently graduated optometrists from all sponsors, including Horizon Sponsors  Eye Recommend, OSI (Optometric Services Inc,) and ROI Corporation

Personal Journeys to Professional Success
Drs Alexa Hecht and Amrit BilkhuDrs. Alexa Hecht and Amrit Bilkhu shared their experiences and advice a presentation entitled, “Oh the Places You’ll Go… as a New OD Grad”. Their stories highlighted the importance of choosing the right career path and tops to do so.  They also shared how they leverage social media to fulfill their goals, serving as an inspiration for the next generation of optometrists.

Interactive Dialogue and Rich Networking

The evening was filled with opportunities for students to ask questions, engage with speakers and sponsors, and network with peers. This interactive environment, supported by the hybrid format, ensured that every attendee, whether online or in-person, could participate fully in the event.

A Night to Remember with Culinary Delights and Prizes
A delicious buffet dinner provided a moment for socializing, rounding off an evening of learning and networking. The evening culminated in the raffle draws, with separate prize pools ensuring that both in-person and online participants had the chance to win, marking a fitting end to an hybrid extraordinary event.

NextGEN Buffet

The NextGEN OD Canada 2024 event was a testament to the spirit of unity and innovation among Canadian optometry students. By overcoming geographical barriers and bringing together students from across North America, the event highlighted the strength and diversity of the Canadian optometry student community.


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Emotional Intelligence

Last issue we introduced new contributor, Jade Bodzasy, Founder of Emotional Intelligence Consulting Inc. Her first article introduced us to two of the three pillars of Emotional Intelligence: Self-Awareness and Self-Management.

Today she discusses the third and fourth pillars of EI and their application to patients and how practice owners and their staff can further develop EI skills.  


Social awareness is the third pillar of emotional intelligence.
It involves the ability to understand and empathize with the emotions, perspectives, and needs of others. In the eyecare field, social awareness is crucial for building strong relationships with patients and understanding their unique circumstances. Eyecare professionals with high social awareness can pick up on subtle emotional cues, listen actively, and respond with empathy.

Remember, Empathy is the ability to sense other people’s emotions and the skill to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling without placing your own experiences, biases, or opinions on what they are going through.

It is all about THEM!
Empathetic listening is a key skill in social awareness. By truly understanding how a patient feels about their state of eye health, eyecare professionals can gain a deeper knowledge of their concerns, fears, and needs.

This requires active engagement, non-verbal cues, and open-ended questions that encourage patients to share their experiences. When eyecare professionals demonstrate empathy and understanding, patients feel heard and valued, leading to greater trust and patients that are invested in your clinic.

Patients will commit to you, because you have a clear interest in their well-being beyond the clinical aspects of their care.

With Social Awareness in your toolbox you can start on the final pillar: Relationship management
Relationship management involves effectively managing interpersonal interactions and building positive relationships. In eyecare, strong relationships between you and patients are essential for successful treatment outcomes. By employing relationship management skills, you can foster trust, collaboration, and open communication with patients.

Listening SkillsOne important aspect of relationship management is the ability to create a feeling of comfort within your patients. When you can make a patient feel comfortable they will offer more information to you so that you can provide them with the best options for their care plan. We have to be diligent with reading the cues and listening to what patients are telling us in order to master our relationships with them.

Not everyone enters the clinic ready to manage their relationship with their eyecare professionals. Some have had a very difficult day and this is the last thing they want to be doing. By taking on the responsibility of the relationship between yourself and the patient, you increase the odds that they will have an amazing experience during their appointment.

How can I further my development of Emotional Intelligence?
 Developing emotional intelligence is an ongoing process that requires self-reflection, practice, and continuous learning. Seek out support to develop emotional intelligence in yourself and  professionals through training and education programs that Emotional Intelligence Consulting Inc has. These programs are designed specifically for eyecare professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to enhance their self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management skills.

Online learning EI SkillsTo improve self-awareness and self-management, you can engage in reflective practices such as journaling, awareness exercises, and self-assessment tools on your own. These activities help them become more aware of your own emotions, triggers, and biases, allowing you to regulate your emotions effectively. Additionally, seeking feedback from an EI professional will give you valuable insights into areas for growth and improvement.

Promoting social awareness and relationship management skills can be achieved through role-playing exercises, communication workshops, and team-building activities which are all great options for a productive team meeting. These activities allow you to practice active listening, empathy, and conflict resolution in a safe and supportive environment. By honing these skills, you can build strong relationships with patients and collaborate effectively as part of an Eyecare team.

Take this with you
Emotional intelligence is a powerful tool for eyecare professionals in managing patient experiences and building strong patient relationships. By developing self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management skills, you can navigate emotionally-charged situations with empathy and understanding. This leads to enhanced patient satisfaction, improved patient outcomes, and a more positive eyecare experience overall. By investing in the development of emotional intelligence, eye care clinics can create a culture of compassion and empathy, benefiting both patients and eyecare professionals alike.

It’s never too late to start learning, just take it one step at a time.

If you missed Jade’s prior article on EI, click here to view.

Look for Jade’s continuing series on how Emotional Intelligence can be applied in your practice setting. Learn More about Jade’s consulting service by visiting her website.


Jade Bodzasy

Jade Bodzasy

Jade Bodzasy, Founder of Emotional Intelligence Consulting Inc., is a dedicated Coach and Consultant for Optometric Practices. Her extensive background includes over 20,000 hours of expertise focused on customer relations, work structure refinement, training method development, and fostering improved work culture within Optometric practices.

Certified in Rational Emotive Behavior Techniques (REBT), Jade possesses a unique skillset that empowers individuals to gain profound insights into the origins of their behaviors, as well as those of others. Leveraging her certification, she equips optometry practices with invaluable resources and expert guidance to establish and sustain a positive, healthful, and productive work environment.


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NextGEN OD Networking

In March 2023, the inaugural hybrid event by NextGEN OD, entitled “Opportunities & Options for New Optometrists,” surpassed expectations in both engagement and impact. Not only did the unique event attract a high turnout, it offered an opportunity to hear and learn from the experiences of recent optometry graduates and network with Canadian optometry students from diverse schools across North America. Given the geographical challenges, this opportunity was especially meaningful.

Driven by Success: Introducing the Student Ambassador Program

Motivated by this strong reception and recognizing the clear demand for more interconnectedness, NextGEN OD is excited to launch its Canadian Student Ambassador Program.

This initiative seeks to further unite students and the industry, thereby making the NextGEN OD community increasingly relevant and accessible to Canadian optometry students, regardless of their study location.

Nyah Miranda and Dr. Jenny Lee, OD, co-hosts of “Opportunities & Options,” are at the helm of this new Student Ambassador program.

Nyah, a second-year student and 2026 candidate at NECO, takes charge of all social media aspects as Digital Communications Associate. Meanwhile, Dr. Jenny Lee, a recent graduate currently in-residence training for Vision Therapy and Neuro Optometry (University of Waterloo), serves as the CRO (Clinical & Refractive Optometry) liaison.  CRO aligns closely with the new Student Ambassador program benefits.

Why NextGEN OD?

While the Canadian optometry student community may be relatively small in numbers, its potential for impact is substantial. NextGEN OD aims to enhance this community by offering invaluable resources and connections that pave the way for thriving careers. Whether studying locally or internationally, this program has you covered.

The Tangible Benefits: Why You Should Sign Up

This program grants student ambassadors a range of exclusive perks, such as:

  • A free CRO Journal subscription
  • Complimentary CRO Student Membership with quiz access
  • Compensation opportunities during special NextGEN events
  • Free CRO membership after graduation
  • Opportunities for publication in eyecare media, paving the way to become a peer influencer
Meet the Trailblazers

We’ve already enlisted a pioneering cohort of exceptional optometry students poised to make an impact in their roles as NextGEN OD Student Ambassadors. These trailblazers have set a high standard, and now the doors are now open for you to join this esteemed group.

NextGEN OD Student Ambassadors
Right to Left: Nyah Miranda (NECO), Jenny Lee (Waterloo) , Natasha Reyes (Waterloo), Michelle Paul (Pacific University), Stephanie Mathews (Michigan College)
How to Engage: Seize the Opportunity

Eager to contribute to NextGEN OD’s mission and join this groundbreaking initiative? Applications for the academic year starting September 2023, are now open. To apply and learn more, visit the NextGEN OD Student Ambassador Landing Page.

Your Next Move: Apply Now

Don’t let this opportunity slip by. Apply today and become a driving force in shaping the future of  the initiative.

About Eye Care Business Canada/Next GEN OD

Eye Care Business Canada (ECBC) and NextGEN OD are sponsors of  CAOS (Canadian Association of Optometry Students) for the academic year 2022-23.

About Eye Care Business Canada and NextGEN OD

Eye Care Business Canada, and NextGEN OD, are committed to empowering Eye Care Professionals and aspiring optometrists. In collaboration with our sponsors, we deliver insights across a range of topics including practice marketing, financial well-being, leadership, and self-development. Additionally, through the NextGEN OD Student Ambassador program, we offer Canadian optometry students a unique platform for networking and professional growth opportunities.

We welcome reader engagement through article ratings and comments on our website. Upholding an open approach, we are impartial toward potential sponsors who wish to engage responsibly with our diverse audience.  ECBC and NextGen OD, and CRO (Clinical & Refractive Optometry) are divisions of VuePoint IDS.


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Emotional Intelligence

Eye Care Business Canada is pleased to welcome a new contributor, Jade Bodzasy, Founder of Emotional Intelligence Consulting Inc. Certified in Rational Emotive Behavior Techniques (REBT), Jade possesses a unique skillset that empowers individuals to gain profound insights into the origins of their behaviors, as well as those of others. Jade is a dedicated coach and consultant for optometric practices with over 20,000 hours of expertise focused on customer relations, work structure refinement, training method development, and fostering improved work culture within optometric practices.

Jade’s aspiration is to unlock the full potential of optometry practices, enhancing their efficiency through the strategic integration of emotional intelligence methodologies. Her contributions promise to shape a more harmonious and thriving landscape within the realm of eye care business. 


In optometric practices, providing exceptional patient care goes beyond clinical expertise. It requires eye care professionals to effectively manage patient expectations and build strong relationships based on trust and empathy. For the talented individuals that are able to pull this off, they know it builds on the success of their clinic.

One crucial skill that can greatly contribute to this is emotional intelligence (EI). Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to recognize, understand, and manage your own emotions and those of others. By harnessing the power of emotional intelligence, eye care professionals can navigate emotionally charged situations with patients, enhance patient satisfaction, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

What is the Foundation of Emotional Intelligence?
Self-awareness is the first pillar of emotional intelligence. It involves recognizing and understanding your own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. In the context of eye care, self-awareness is crucial for effective patient communication. Eye care professionals who are self-aware can better manage their own emotions and reactions, allowing them to respond to patients with empathy and understanding.

By being aware of your own biases, triggers, and stressors, you can avoid projecting your own emotions onto patients and approach each interaction with a clear and open mind. This is the first step in understanding how to manage your patient’s experience.

“When we are aware of something, we can change it if we want to. If we are unaware we cannot make a change.”

It can be challenging to become aware in an area that you feel as though you are already confident in. However, it’s beneficial to be in the mindset of “We can always learn something new” and this allows for awareness opportunities so that you can improve.

Now how do you increase your self-awareness?

You can engage in reflective practices such as journaling or awareness exercises. Taking the time to reflect on your emotions and experiences can help you gain a deeper understanding of your own emotional responses and how they may impact your interactions with patients. This practice is a form of self-feedback and can provide valuable insights into areas for growth and improvement.

Now that I am Self-Aware, what do I do?
 Self-management is the second pillar of emotional intelligence. It involves the ability to regulate your emotions in a healthy and constructive manner. In the eye care industry setting, self-management is essential for maintaining professionalism and providing effective patient engagement. Eye care professionals who can effectively manage their emotions are better equipped to handle challenging situations, such as delivering difficult news or managing patient frustrations. They can remain calm, composed, and empathetic, even in high-pressure environments. When you can implement these skills, you start to see how this is going to drastically change your patient’s experience in your clinic.

Here is an interesting way to view this whole self-management concept. 

Angry Patient asks, "Where are my Glasses"There is a patient that is wildly frustrated because they thought their glasses would be ready in two weeks time and they are not.

They are being very vocal in a loud way about how this has caused them a great deal of frustration and is a huge inconvenience.

You have three staff members you can pick from to handle the situation, one is a front desk Administrative assistant, the other is an Optician, and the last one is the Clinic Manager.

Which one do you send into the frustrated patient situation?

We all tend to ask ourselves this question to find our answer “Who’s Manager, or Who’s worked here the longest?” and although sometimes this works, it’s often not the best option.

Try asking yourself this instead “Who has had the most experience with remaining calm and empathetic in these situations?” That person is likely your staff member with the highest amount of self-regulation. This means they will be your best option for turning this situation around.

Whether someone knows all the lenses, understands the in’s and out’s of your operating systems or has the highest IQ, none of that will help them if they cannot regulate themselves in a high stress situation.

To calm someone down, you first need to calm yourself down.

One strategy for self-management is increasing emotional resilience. This involves recognizing emotions as they arise and taking steps to regulate them. In a challenging situation like the one above, take a moment to acknowledge to yourself that you are having an emotional response and choose whether or not it is beneficial to the patient if you react to it.

It is also important for eye care professionals to take care of their own well-being, ensuring they have the support and resources they need to manage stressful situations and not carry those forward with them into other moments.

Look for Jade’s continuing series on how Emotional Intelligence can be applied in your practice setting. Learn More about Jade’s consulting service by visiting her website.


Jade Bodzasy

Jade Bodzasy

Jade Bodzasy, Founder of Emotional Intelligence Consulting Inc., is a dedicated Coach and Consultant for Optometric Practices. Her extensive background includes over 20,000 hours of expertise focused on customer relations, work structure refinement, training method development, and fostering improved work culture within Optometric practices.

Certified in Rational Emotive Behavior Techniques (REBT), Jade possesses a unique skillset that empowers individuals to gain profound insights into the origins of their behaviors, as well as those of others. Leveraging her certification, she equips optometry practices with invaluable resources and expert guidance to establish and sustain a positive, healthful, and productive work environment.


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Electronic Health Records

As an independent optometrist, selecting the right optometry Electronic Health Records (EHR) system for your practice is a critical decision that can significantly impact efficiency, patient care, and overall profitability. This post is the first of a series addressing optometry EHR systems. The first blog post deals with the which criteria to use in making a selection.

In subsequent posts we’ll address the best practices for making a selection and address the all important task of on-boarding staff to a new optometry EHR system.

Take Survey nowWe also ask you to provide some information about your current system and which others you might have considered. You can do so by participating in the survey.

At the conclusion of the series, a winner will get a $50 e-gift card selected among the survey respondents.   

With numerous options available in the market, it’s essential to carefully evaluate and consider key factors before making a final selection.

Functionality and Usability.
When evaluating optometry EHR systems, functionality and usability should be top priorities. Optometry practices have unique requirements, and it’s crucial to ensure that the chosen system meets your specific needs. Consider the following factors:

  1. Comprehensive Optometry Features:
    Look for an EHR system that offers specialized optometry functionalities, such as integration with diagnostic devices, customizable templates for eye exams, and support for visual acuity testing and refraction measurements. These features will enhance efficiency and streamline your workflow. Some systems are general medical systems that are made over. Be certain that the systems that make your short list are specific to Optometry.
  2. Intuitive User Interface:
    Opt for an EHR system with a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate. A clean and intuitive design can reduce training time and minimize the risk of errors during data entry and retrieval.
  3. Interoperability:
    Choose an EHR system that integrates with other healthcare providers’ systems, such as primary care physicians and ophthalmologists. Seamless interoperability facilitates efficient information exchange, streamlines referrals, and improves patient care coordination.

Data Security and Compliance
Protecting patient data is of utmost importance in today’s digital landscape. Optometry practices must adhere to strict privacy regulations and maintain the highest standards of data security. Consider the following factors:

  1. Privacy Compliance: In Canada, the equivalent to HIPAA compliance is the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and various provincial privacy legislation. While the specific requirements may vary by province, optometry practices in Canada should prioritize EHR systems that adhere to privacy regulations. These include features like secure data transmission, audit trails, access controls, and encryption of patient information.
  2. Data Backup and Disaster Recovery: Look for an optometry EHR system that provides robust data backup and disaster recovery mechanisms. Regular backups, off-site storage, and redundancy measures are essential to protect against data loss or system failures.
  3. Data Ownership and Accessibility: Clarify the ownership rights of patient data and ensure that you have control over your practice’s data at all times. Additionally, consider the accessibility of the EHR system from various devices and locations to support remote work and provide flexibility for your practice.

Cost and Vendor Support The financial aspect and the support provided by the EHR vendor are significant considerations in the selection process. Evaluate the following factors:

  1. Total Cost of Ownership: Consider the upfront costs, ongoing subscription fees, implementation fees, and any additional charges associated with the EHR system. Compare the pricing models of different vendors and ensure that the system aligns with your budget.
  2. Training and Support: Determine the level of training and support offered by the EHR vendor. Adequate training is crucial for a smooth transition and effective utilization of the system. Look for comprehensive training materials, online resources, and responsive customer support.
  3. Scalability and Future-proofing: Evaluate the scalability of the EHR system to accommodate the growth of your practice. Consider the vendor’s commitment to continuous updates and improvements, ensuring that the system remains up-to-date with changing industry standards and requirements.

Selecting the right EHR system for your independent optometry practice requires careful consideration of key factors such as functionality, data security, cost, and vendor support.

By following best practices, thoroughly evaluating potential systems, and effectively on-boarding your staff, you can ensure a smooth transition to an optometry EHR system that enhances efficiency, improves patient care, and drives overall practice profitability.

Take the survey now.



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Bailey Nelson Career Opportunities

Dr. Laurie Lesser,  Eyecare Director Canada/UK, Bailey Nelson subtitled her presentation “How to have a fulfilling career as an optometrist, while having the time to enjoy your other passions” and outlined Bailey Nelson career opportunities for young NextGEN ODs.

She traces the roots of  Bailey Nelson to Aussie founders, Nick and Pete who gained modest success selling beautiful eyewear at reasonable prices on chill Bondi Beach Market near Sydney.

The entrepreneurs heeded the advice of a local Optometrists suggesting coupling their eyewear in a full-service optometry setting. Success in Australia spread internationally to New Zealand, Canada (2016) and UK. Today Bailey Nelson has over 100 stores in four countries, nearly 40 of which are in Canada. And, they continue to grow.

Bailey Nelsen’s core values and tight knit down to earth culture appeals to young ODs. “It drives positive energy where you can bring your true self to work without the headaches of running a business”, says Lesser.

Bailey Nelson Career Opportunities for ODs
Watch Dr. Lesser’s Full Presentation to NextGEN ODs on YouTube

She describes a highly collaborative workplace environment where a “never ending” group chat provides almost immediate support from engaged and supportive colleagues.

Bailey Nelson Optometrist Dr. Grace Sim
“I enjoy working with Bailey Nelson because I have all the freedom and control I need to manage my practice, but still have the support and resources that comes from a tight-knit company like Bailey Nelson.” Dr. Grace Sim, Bailey Nelson, Conestoga Waterloo, UW 2022

Dr. Lesser details the Bailey Nelson subleasing model which takes care of the back-office functions including reception, phone, internet, EMR, patient recall and online booking.

Bailey Nelson brand tends to attract younger healthier patients which helps to keep Optometric care simple and provides the opportunity to fulfill patients needs in an uncomplicated setting.

Dr. Lesser also presented testimonials from recent Optometry grads who found their match with the Bailey Nelson culture.

Bailey Nelson provides career opportunities for young ODs seeking  young vibrant communities compatible with their culture. She outlines specific opportunities where a retention bonuses of $100,000 are available.

Click here for more information about Bailey Nelson career opportunities for young Optometrists.

You can reach Dr. Lesser directly to discuss if Bailey Nelson career opportunities are a match for you.

Phone: (236) 412 9911  (Canada)
Phone (954) 401-2476 (USA)


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Eye Care Business Canada Sponsors CAOS

The Optometry student winners of the APERTURE Writing contest have been announced by the Canadian Association of Optometry Students (CAOS). As a sponsor of the APERTURE Writing Contest, NextGenOD and Eye Care Business Canada have awarded prizes for the top 5 optometry student winners of the contest.

Aperture Optometry Student Magazine cover 2023
Aperture Cover 2023

The top entries were  selected by the CAOS communications directors by an anonymous voting system where personal identifiers were removed. Then, the entire CAOS executive team at University of Waterloo which comprises over 20 students, excluding the communications team, votes on the winners.

The first-place winning entry entitled “Lessons from a Superfield Lens” by Jenny Lee (4th year University of Waterloo) recounts a whimsical imaginary conversation with various optometric armamentarium which dispels her fears of being replaced by technology.

The second-place entry, by Shannon Huges (3rd year University of Waterloo), shares results and lesson ingrained from of her first real patient refractions in, “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It“.

Simply entitled, “Foresight“, third-place winning entry by Judit Antonyrajan (3rd year University of Waterloo) celebrates optometry scope of practice advances that have been achieved and opines on the promising future of the profession.

Here is the full list of APERTURE contest winners and NextGEN OD cash prizes.  Congratulations to all of the participants.

  • 1st  Place Jenny Lee  ($150)
  • 2nd Place Shannon Hughes ($125)
  • 3rd Place Judit Antonyrajan ($100)
  • 4th Place Jennifer Li ($75)
  • 5th Place Kiratpal Hothi ($50)

In addition the cash prizes, optometry student winners will be recognized by publishing their entries in NextGEN’s parent company publications, including Optik Magazine, OptikNOW and Eye Care Business Canada,  reaching over 10,000 Canadian eye care professionals. Look for the winning entries to be published later this year.

The 2023 issue is the seventh Aperture Magazine publication. The optometry student publication strives to reflect the voices of future Optometrists in the ever-changing landscape of the profession.

View the winning entries in APERTURE Magazine.
See Contest Announcement.



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The independent advantage

Dr. Matthew Harrison, a SW Ontario Independent OD aligned with the Eye Recommend network, presents the case for independent practice with the support of a strong membership group.

Dr. Harrison, a 2013 University of Waterloo grad, provides his definition of “Independent Practice”, a term that is often bandied around and accepted often without a full understanding of its meaning and consequences to practice.

He concludes that independence ultimately is defined as the freedom of choice to selectively utilize the tools you desire to provide the highest level of care.

He advocates that you can have the best of both worlds by aligning with a strong member group such as Eye Recommend, which has 500+ practices across Canada and over 1300 optometry professionals.

The Independent Advantage Dr. Matt Harrison
View Dr. Harrison’s full presentation by clicking the play button above

NextGEN ODs as early as Year 2 can receive a signing bonus of $25,000 when starting with an Eye Recommend practice after graduation.

For more information on the “Eye Recommend” advantage: connect here.



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Dr. Mark Langer graduated from Pacific University College of Optometry in 2013. He had interned at a number of interesting practice locations, including private practice in Beverly Hills California, an Army Hospital in Europe, a Veteran Affairs Clinic in Hawaii, and a private practice and IRIS location in British Columbia.

While engaging with young ODs and optometry students at the March 2023 NextGEN OD event, it is not surprising therefore to hear him strongly recommend that NextGen ODs step back from the academics and take time to network and build bridges to their future opportunities.

A Mentor’s Advice
While contemplating the “how, what and where’ of his future practice opportunities, a successful private practice owner/mentor offered this advice, “”Pick where you want to live and build a life there”.

Langer took the advice to heart. Building upon the connections previously forged, he landed with IRIS in the BC interior.

Aligning the family around the decision to stay in the Okanagan Valley, Dr. Langer officially partnered with IRIS which perfectly melds his professional career and personal lifestyle – which now includes a family of “three little dudes!”.

He’s appreciative of the professional teams that take the administration burden off his plate allowing him to go home, put on his “Daddy Cape” and enjoy life.

My Path to Practice Partnership at IRIS
View Dr. Langer’s full presentation by clicking the play button above.

Key Point of advice: “Make sure that life outside of work is at the forefront of any decision you make.”


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Dr. Scott Mundle provides a historical perspective on Optometry Giving Sight (OGS), its mission and current activities. He and Eyes Wide Open Host, Roxanne Arnal, talk about the benefits of giving and how contributing to social programs can help personal happiness and make business sense. Dr. Mundle, UW (’83) has been active in the service of Optometry since early in his career. He is the past-president of the Manitoba Association of Optometrists and the Canadian Association of Optometrists, and Past President of the World Council of Optometry.  Dr. Mundle serves as the OGS Canada Member Representative.

Dr. Scott Muncle

About the Guest

While officially “retired” Dr. Mundle, continues to serve the profession as a delegate of the World Council of Optometry (WCO) to the International Agendy for the Prevention of Blindness.

Married to University of Waterloo, School of Optometry classmate Dr. Michelle Georgi, the couple has three children. On chance that any other free time presents itself, Dr. Mundle dedicates it to sporting activities, including cycling and fishing.

Episode Notes

Dr. Scott Mundle provides an update on his active “retirement” with Roxanne Arnal, including his recent personal and professional travel agenda in support of the World Council of Optometry.

He provides an overview of the 2003 founding partners of the Optometry Giving Sight (OGS), and how its mission and priorities have shifted over time since he was first invited to chair the OGS National Committee by Dr. Scott Brisbane.

Dr. Mundle outlines the substantial activities of OGS in reaching over 8 Million patients, training 14,000 Eye Care professionals while establishing 130 vision centres in 40 different countries around the globe.

Among OGS activities is support in the foundation of Optometry Schools in developing countries, including Kenya, Eritrea, Vietnam and Haiti, the later of which was undertaken in collaboration with partners including VOSH and University of Montréal. Notwithstanding the recent civil strife in Haiti, the project contiues to train Haitian ODs successfully.

Dr. Mundle reviews the various ways that Canadian Optometrists can (and should!) participate to support OGS funding, including how his own Manitoba practice enthusastically undertook efforts.

He encourages optometry students to get involved. He detailed the friendly competition that has ensued between University of Waterloo and Univerity of Montreal CAOS chapters to creatively one-up each other in generating support for OGS.

Finally, the discussion goes toward the benefits of funding by providing research facts on how social causes influence consumer choices of business and services. Dr. Arnal references a recent “must read” book called “Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending“, on how spending money can elevate our happiness (See Resources).



Optometrist and Certified Financial Planner

Roxanne Arnal graduated from UW School of Optometry in 1995 and is a past-president of the Alberta Association of Optometrists (AAO) and the Canadian Association of Optometry Students (CAOS).  She subsequently built a thriving optometric practice in rural Alberta.

Roxanne took the decision in  2012 to leave optometry and become a financial planning professional.  She now focuses on providing services to Optometrists with a plan to parlay her unique expertise to help optometric practices and their families across the country meet their goals through astute financial planning and decision making.

Roxanne splits EWO podcast hosting duties with Dr. Glen Chiasson.


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