Written by Yuehan Yang, Meagan Boehr, and Karlie McMillan
We had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Jason Pearce who currently owns Signal Hill Eyecare in Calgary, AB. He shared with us his journey of building his career in Calgary, from starting as an associate to buying into a practice and developing it into a bustling location with 6 optometrists. As the Past-President of the Alberta Association of Optometrists, he spoke to us about how the association helped him develop as an optometrist and strongly encouraged us to join in the future. The importance of forming relationships within the field was a big takeaway from our conversation. He encouraged us to focus on networking and shared how his connections with other optometrists and ophthalmologists has been extremely beneficial throughout his career. During the session he answered all of our questions thoughtfully and gave valuable insight into issues such as the impact of the current economic situation in Alberta on Optometry. We thoroughly appreciated hearing his opinions and experiences as a practice owner and how he was able to work his way up from a single doctor practice to a multi-doctor clinic. It was refreshing to hear that in the future we could make the same leap as a business owner and can become just as successful. It was also an interesting experience to hear the positive aspects of becoming an active member in the AAO. It was something that none of us had considered and it was great to hear his perspective on the benefits of being an active member and the positive outcomes it had to his career as an active clinician. We were under the impression that being a council member on the AAO would take away from your practical hours in the clinic but he assured us that it was quite manageable to be both an active member and an active optometrist.