UW Mentorship: Dr. Chan

Authors: Song Kim, Carly Ross, Anamika Ohri

It was a great pleasure visiting Dr. Chan at Queensway Optometric Centre. Located just across Trillium Health Partners, his clinic plays a critical role in providing pre- and post-surgery care, handling a large volume of interprofessional patient referrals, and managing a great range of ocular conditions for a diverse patient population.

The highlight of the clinic tour was the monocular indirect ophthalmoscope (MIO), which is no longer manufactured in optical industry. We were amazed by how quickly we could obtain almost five times greater area of the fundus viewing compared to direct ophthalmoscope. We also learned that MIO offers an easier learning curve especially for a monocular clinician but also facilitates working with young children and patients with special needs, as it allows for a greater working distance from the patient. We could appreciate why clinics that are lucky enough to have MIO are holding on to them so carefully!

Dr. Chan further offered us a lot of advice on building emotional connections with patients. He emphasized that implementation of the latest evidence-based technologies must go hand in hand with empathetic clinical counselling in optometry. This becomes more true when managing more long-term, complex conditions such as glaucoma, whose progression can be so uncertain and daunting for many patients. He reminded us that meaningful connections we make with patients can surely improve patient satisfaction and the quality of care.

Lastly, Dr. Chan shared some of his favorite analogies that he uses to explain difficult concepts with his patients. For example, he told us how he describes the optical coherence tomography of the retina as cutting a cake into slices and seeing through different layers. Indeed, these analogies may serve to form a common understanding between the optometrists and the patients, enhance the patients’ knowledge of their condition, and ultimately empower the patients.

We truly thank Dr. Chan for his sincere and thoughtful advice.

Carly Ross (3rd year), Song Kim (2nd year), Dr. Joseph Chan, Anamika Ohri (3rd year)