UW Mentorship: Dr. Cheryl Letheren

Written by Jenny Zhang and Emma Langlois

For our CAOS mentorship visit, we had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Cheryl Letheren at her clinic in downtown London. Dr. Letheren and her staff were very welcoming and showed us around their clinic. We got the opportunity to ask Dr. Letheren and her staff about the challenges facing Optometry in these troubling times and see first hand how their clinic is being run during the pandemic. The staff were very helpful in answering any questions we had about dispensing and the COVID procedures they have recently had to adopt. Dr. Letheren shared her wealth of experience with us regarding Vision Therapy, continuing education, and the ongoing efforts of job action. It’s very clear that Optometry in Ontario is undergoing changes related to both the pandemic and job action, and we appreciated her candidness about how it has been on the front lines. She shared advice on how to start out as young optometrists and what to expect in our first few years out of school. Dr. Letheren also shared with us some reading material that she finds helpful for explaining topics to patients in a way that is easy to understand.

Dr. Letheren has several patients undergoing vision therapy in her clinic. We talked to her and her staff about how they organize these sessions and how Dr. Letheren got started in the field. This was particularly interesting for us, as we got to see how our didactic learning translates into a clinical, real world setting. Dr. Letheren’s enthusiasm for learning inspires us to find areas we are passionate about and pursue them. She taught us to take our learning around the world and participate in meetings that can expand our knowledge of the field. It was a great learning experience visiting Dr. Letheren’s clinic and we truly appreciate her time and consideration.