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UW Mentorship: Dr. Howard Dolman

Written by Sean Campbell (2nd year) and Brady Fougere (1st year)

It was our pleasure to spend a few hours with Dr. Dolman at Dolman Eyecare Centre in New Hamburg, as well as his and his wife’s vision therapy clinic, KW Neurovision in Kitchener.

Our visit started with a trip to Dr. Dolman’s main office in New Hamburg. Dr. Dolman gave us a tour of his office, including the testing areas, exam rooms, and optical center, while sharing with us the history of the clinic. One point he made about the layout of his office that we found interesting was that there are separate check in and check out counters to improve efficiency, as well as another check in spot specifically for the optical center. He was also able to share a few interesting cases that he has seen recently, as well as talk to us about testing and results for the cases.

The timing of our visit was fortunate, as Dr. Dolman was able to show us his clinic’s new Neurolens machine, which was new to his office within the last month before our visit. He noted that his office is one of a handful in Ontario which has this technology. Neurolens is able to measure ocular misalignment at distance and near to within one-hundredth of a prism diopter, as well as give a printout of a prescription for a contoured prism which can work at both distance and near in the same lens. Dr. Dolman’s passion for binocular vision issues was apparent from the enthusiasm he showed while telling us about this new machine, which was a good lead into the second part of our tour, where he took us to their satellite neurovision clinic in Kitchener.

At KW Neurovision, Dr. Dolman showed us around his and his wife’s facility. This KW Neurovision is a specialized practice with the aim of treating post-concussion symptoms, as well as binocular vision impairments in children. During the visit he had mentioned that almost every post-concussion symptom can be influenced by our eyes. This includes photophobia, headaches, even brain fog! One of the incredible pieces of technology Dr. Dolman employs in his treatments includes RightEye. RightEye is a specialized eye tracking software that can detect the smallest changes in eye movement. RightEye can even be used as an early detection test for Parkinson’s Disease. This type of technology is greatly useful to detect any differences in eye movement that would affect our binocular vision. These differences could be so small that they are undetectable to the naked eye. Touring this impressive and cutting edge facility gave us a greater appreciation of the degree of specialization the field of optometry can provide.

Our visit ended with Dr. Dolman taking time to talk with us about how we became interested in optometry, subspecialties within optometry that we find interesting, and general life as an optometrist.

Among other things, Dr. Dolman had given us great pointers on how to properly run your own practice. Even something as simple as building layout can cause a huge impact for the flow of the clinic. In all, this was an incredible experience that gave us both a greater understanding of the excitement and complexity that awaits us as future optometrists.

We thank Dr. Dolman for donating time out of his schedule to spend with us!


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