By Gabriella Gedeon
BVisSc MOptom, QUT 2013
My close to two years in practice has been an amazing journey. I started at OPSM Capalaba in 2014. Most graduate optometrists will start in a store with another optometrist who will be their mentor for a year or so. In my case, I was the only optometrist in the practice.
At the start I was very nervous and was always questioning myself. As difficult as the role was, it put me in a position where I had to make smarter and quicker decisions.
Day by day it got easier as I realised what is important in every consultation and analysed each patient based on their symptoms and results. As Albert Einstein said, the only source of knowledge is experience.
At the end of 2014, I received the ‘Optometrist of the Year’ award for OPSM QLD/NT and one of Luxottica’s national awards, ‘Leaders of the New Dawn.’ It was an absolute honour to receive both awards.
By my helping OPSM Capalaba grow both in patient rapport and financial stability, the area managers saw my potential. While practising there, I was working on ways to make our store shine, including appointment management and increasing all my dispensers’ optometry knowledge.
As a reward, in early 2015 I was transferred to one of the largest stores in Australia, OPSM Carindale. This was the store where I had worked as an optical dispenser when I was a second-year optometry student. There, I could see the opportunities and responsibilities at OPSM and I decided that was where I wanted to work and grow.
I love a good chat and that’s what optometrists are doing most of the day. I love to get to know every patient who walks through my door.
Having the ability to give a hand has always been my dream so why not help in giving the gift of sight? Optometry offers this gift daily. It may be for a child with his first pair of glasses or an elderly person needing reading glasses to help them with their craftwork.
When I started at OPSM, I was introduced to One Sight, the non-profit initiative supported by Luxottica. Participating in its ongoing efforts to provide quality vision care and eyewear in under-served communities worldwide truly inspires me.
The OneSight clinics were an eye-opener for me. We can directly provide vision care for those in need in Australia and all over the world. I hope I can be a part of more OneSight clinics and initiatives and continue to help make a difference.
The future? I see myself in a managing role within OPSM where I can help encourage and promote those with a passion for optometry. I believe that by showing and expressing our passion to the world we can make a difference.