Third-Year Accelerated Scholars Optometry Student: Fiza Tariq
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Third-Year Accelerated Scholars Optometry Student: Fiza Tariq

Fiza and friendHi everyone! My name is Fiza and I am a third-year Optometry Scholars student completing my last year’s rotation in Canada. My hometown is Mississauga, Ontario – a suburb west of Toronto for all the Americans reading. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, in the Public Health Co-operative program. It was in undergrad that I discovered the profession of optometry – a career where I get to look at eyeballs for the rest of my life? Sign me up!

Currently, I am completing my second rotation at the Oakville Centre for Vision in Oakville, Ontario. I cannot believe it will be only a few months before I will be graduating with my degree. The last year of rotations has been truly been an eye-opening experience (pun-intended) – finally applying the information learned through hours of studying and clinical practicing and serving patients in a meaningful way has been an irreplaceable source of satisfaction.

I will walk you through a typical day at my current rotation – overall it includes completing entrance testing, conducting eye exams on patients and supervising vision therapy sessions.

In the morning, I wake up, shower and grab breakfast on the go. Time is of the essence, as I like to wake up precisely at 7:20 a.m. and leave my house at 8:15 a.m. to arrive timely at work. With a packed lunch and goodbyes to the family, I am off to work. My commute is about 30 minutes from my house – I enjoy that time period to listen to the latest tunes, catch up with my younger brother on life or make a mental note of work to do things.

Fiza in an optometry exam room

Arriving at work starts with friendly hellos and good mornings. We arrive 15 minutes before the clinic opens to ensure everything is ready and prepared for patient arrival. A typical day runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes the best thing of all – providing patients with clear and comfortable vision. What I enjoy most is the unexpected aspect of looking at eyeballs – diagnosis, treatment and management of eye diseases is a key factor that I have been improving and polishing at my rotation.In addition, working at a private practice has been an enriching experience, allowing me to learn skills and traits needed to run a successful business. Let me tell you, it includes a lot more than what is taught in classes and courses. I genuinely value my last year of training - clinical exposure before entering the real world is vital for being successful post-graduation.

Having said that, I cannot believe graduation is only a few months away! Time truly flies. Starting this program felt like a daunting experience years ago. However, I am eternally grateful for all the lessons learned along the way. Good luck to all my peers completing rotations – see you all at the finish line in a few months. 

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