By Srushti Bhadresh Kumar Thakor
I am an optometry student at Shree Bhartimaya College of Optometry and Physiotherapy in India. Around the age of 10, I decided I wanted to go into the medical field. After searching career options with my mother, I learned about what “optometry” was and took it upon myself to research more: what comes with the career and what I could do in that field to help others. I was knowledgeable about various fields in medicine, but optometry was new to me. Still, it stuck out, and I decided to pursue a career in it.
I have studied optometry and learned so many things, including information on contact lenses, ophthalmic disease and low-vision problems. I also learned how to properly dispense spectacles. After wearing glasses in high school, I saw glasses more as something I needed, but were more about the look and style of the frame. I know now just how important eye health is to the overall wellbeing of a person—not just aesthetic-wise.
I also enjoy writing poetry, and I recently combined my two passions into a poem. It has since been published online, and I see it as a big achievement of mine. I have also participated in various competitions, including winning the national competition organized by the Optometry Council of India. I have also won various certificates and financial rewards.
I have been grateful for my journey so far. There have been so many people to motivate and support me, including my parents and professors. I have learned the best way to treat patients, partly by seeing how those who care for me treat me. One of my most prized career moments was when I had the opportunity to help treat Special Olympic athletes. Some of them needed special care and attention for their visual needs, but they were so full of passion. I felt so lucky to be helping them in that moment. I have also participated in eye exam camps and pop-ups.
I am now completing my clinical internship. I am also working on completing my thesis dissertation. In about five years, I hope to open my own clinic and join a nongovernmental organization to provide free eye exams for those in need. I have been able to provide passionate and personalized care to so many people and witness patients see clearly again. I am so thankful to this world of optometry and all the eye care professionals. I look forward to joining you.