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An eye-opening experience for optometry students at Vision Eye Institute


As part of our commitment to nurturing the next generation of eye health professionals and ensuring the best care for patients, Vision Eye Institute regularly hosts optometry students at our clinics across Australia.

During their time with us, students are given the opportunity to observe consultations, assessments, surgeries and treatments. They also gain an understanding of the role of optometrists and orthoptists in an ophthalmic clinic setting and make valuable connections with doctors and clinical optometrists.

Hamish, a Flinders University optometry student, recently completed a placement at Vision Eye Institute North Adelaide with Dr Paul Athanasiov, Dr Simone Beheregaray, Dr David Handley, Dr Soo Khai Ng, and clinical optometrists Stephanie Stavrinakis and Emma Nutt.

‘My two weeks at Vision Eye Institute gave me great insight into how an ophthalmology clinic operates, both in theatre and in clinic.’ Hamish says. ‘I was lucky enough to witness several of the amazing doctors perform many cataract surgeries, stent implants, pterygium removals and corneal grafts.’

Hamish also commented on the skills he gained during the experience. ‘The practical and patient management skills that I developed at Vision Eye Institute will be extremely useful for my career moving forward. I am grateful to have had guidance from so many clinical optometrists and doctors during my time there.’

Top left: Hamish (optometry student) and Dr Paul Athanasiov in clinic. Top right: Dr David Handley examining a patient, with optometry student Kaashvi observing. Bottom left: Hamish and Dr Paul Athanasiov in theatre. Bottom right: Jasper (optometry student) with Emma Nutt (left) and Stephanie Stavrinakis (right).

Amy, a Deakin University student who shadowed Dr David Handley and clinical optometrist Ishita Srivastava at Vision Eye Institute Kurralta Park, was impressed by the number of treatments she observed during her single-day placement.

‘In one day, I was able to see cataract assessments and surgery, a YAG laser capsulotomy and a few anti-VEGF injections,’ Amy says. ‘Seeing surgery from the 3D screen was awesome!’

Amy and Hamish also highlighted the supportive nature of the experience: ‘The team were extremely supportive and assisted me to develop my knowledge of optometry,’ Hamish says.

Amy agrees: ‘Ishita was lovely and very thoughtful in explaining everything she was doing so I could always follow along.’

Eman, an optometry student who observed with Dr Nima Pakrou, Dr Uday Bhatt and their orthoptist team at Vision Eye Institute Footscray, also commented on the willingness of our doctors and clinical staff to share their expertise:

‘Everyone is very welcoming and eager to teach you. Dr Nima was absolutely amazing and tried to teach something at every opportunity, including allowing me to examine the patient whenever possible. He was a great teacher and very welcoming! Dr Bhatt was also a fantastic teacher, often prompting me or asking me questions, which made learning more memorable.’

Top left: Optometry student, Jason, with clinical optometrist Ishita Srivastava. Top right: Jacinta, optometry student, at our Chatswood clinic. Bottom left: Dr Alexander Tan examining student, Cameron. Bottom right: Dr Devinder Chauhan going over some examination results with student, Zahra.

At our Boronia clinic, optometry students Cameron and Zahra observed Dr Devinder Chauhan, Dr Eric Mayer and Dr Alexander Tan caring for patients. The students particularly enjoyed observing at Boronia’s dedicated intravitreal (eye) injection clinic.

‘I really appreciated gaining a deeper understanding of the importance of injections. I also deepened my knowledge of how the benefits, risks and costs must be weighed by the patient and the ophthalmologist.’

Cameron also appreciated the opportunity to build relationships with specialists in his local area. ‘It really helps to get to know the doctors I’ll be referring my patients to once I graduate.’

Sasha Kairouz, education manager at Vision Eye Institute, says that our commitment to optometrists’ education doesn’t end at graduation: ‘The range of CPD resources and events, management and referral pathways and other clinic tools available to members will be useful for graduates.’

Because of our ongoing role in educating eye health professionals, you may occasionally be asked whether students can observe a consultation or procedure when you visit one of our clinics. However, this will only occur with your full consent – and if you have any questions about it, please feel free to ask.

The information on this page is general in nature. All medical and surgical procedures have potential benefits and risks. Consult your ophthalmologist for specific medical advice.

Date last reviewed: 2024-01-25 | Date for next review: 2026-01-25

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