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Approximately a year ago, I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Mary-Kate Alliston during her signing journey with FYidoctors in July of 2023. Her unwavering dedication and passion for optometry left a lasting impression, prompting us to offer her the opportunity as the Lead OD of one of our clinics.

FYidoctors Dr. MK ALLISTON
FYidoctors Dr. MK ALLISTON

What truly stood out about Mary-Kate’s journey was not only her signing as a new graduate in a leadership role but also her confidence in serving as the sole OD in that clinic.

FYidoctors is fortunate to have been chosen as her inaugural practice space, and is happy to share a little about herself:

  1. Tell us about yourself

I am originally from Ancaster, Ontario and I have worked with FYidoctors in different capacities since 2018. I began my post-secondary education at Western University and obtained a Bachelor’s of Science degree with a double major in Physiology and Biology. I then went on to study Optometry at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science and graduated in spring 2023.

  1. What made you choose optometry?

I knew from a young age that I wanted my career to be centered around helping people, becoming involved in my community, and making a difference in people’s lives. I entered my undergraduate studies with the ambition of becoming a medical doctor but with the goal of exploring other healthcare-related options that fit my lifestyle and priority of work-life balance. I always endeavored to work in primary healthcare because I love interacting with others and building relationships over time.

  1. What do you love about your job?

I love so many things about the job. I love that at the very least, we are improving patients’ lives simply by improving their vision with either glasses or contact lenses. I love that the profession has so many different facets, including eye health and binocular vision, and that we have the potential to make a difference in the patient’s overall health as well as being a part of their larger healthcare team. I love that, as optometrists, we are always learning new information that can benefit our patients and the profession is always evolving. I love the lifestyle and the work-life balance the career provides as well, and that I get to do what I always aspired to do in my career, which is help people and enhance their lives every day.

  1. What advice would you offer soon-to-be graduates?

I have placed a lot of importance in my life on experiences, and have made that a priority throughout my post-secondary years. I have volunteered, shadowed, and worked in a variety of different clinics including other FYidoctors locations, and have learned so much about what my goals are as a practitioner and what I prioritize in a workplace environment. I took an opportunity to do one of my externship rotations in another province I had never been to before, and I have worked in both rural and urban areas. My advice would be to seek out new experiences outside of your comfort zone to gain different perspectives and discover what your goals will be once you become a practitioner. I would also recommend starting the job search early and taking your time to decide what is right for you, and do not be afraid to ask the “hard questions” of your future workplace.

Dr. Mary-Kate Alliston currently practices at our Kitchener-Waterloo clinic and is happy to chat about her experience with future graduates.

Looking for career opportunities with FYidoctors?

Contact me at

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FYidoctors Michelle Melnyk

Michelle Melnyk

With over a decade of dedicated service, Michelle Melnyk has been proud to have influence across various roles in Talent Aquisition. At FYidoctors, she began as the Optometrist Recruiter for the Ontario region, and soon after, stepped into her current role as Manager of Campus Engagement. Her journey began with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Mount Royal University with a minor in Human Resources, where she developed an understanding of human behavior and organizational dynamics. Beyond her professional endeavors, Michelle is known for her advocacy for work-life balance and her passion for family, plants, and travel. With her background and dedication, Michelle continues to shape the careers of individuals while making meaningful contributions to the field of talent management.


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