The Best of Voices + Views for 2019

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Vision Monday started the Voices + Views department in VMAIL Weekend back in January of 2018. Voices + Views was originally conceived as a way for VM to cover ECPs who had a social media presence on blogs, vlogs and Instagram platforms. At the time, most of the V+V features were written by our associate editor Stephanie Sengwe. Stephanie left us in May of 2018 when she returned to graduate school to pursue a film career. However, she continued to write the Voices + Views features for us on a contributing editor basis, and we’re very happy she did. Through the years, Stephanie wrote over 50 ECP profiles for us in the Weekend Edition. Here are a few of her most popular V+V stories.

Dr. Joseph Allen's 'Dr. Eye Health'




It seems Dr. Joseph Allen has always been into video so it was no surprise he launched an educational YouTube channel to serve as a learning tool for potential and current patients. Here’s how he described his love of video. “I was even in the A/V club in high school, so I guess I have always been interested in making videos. I first got the idea because of how many patients came in telling me they already looked up everything online and sadly most people are way off when they do that. Unfortunately, most video content online about the eyes is either incorrect or boring to watch.”

Doctor Eye Health
is a 6-month-old educational YouTube Channel geared toward anyone who is interested in knowing more about the eyes, disease and vision products. Its creator, Joseph Allen, OD, is a graduate of the Rosenberg School of Optometry who did his residency in ocular disease and vision rehabilitation at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. Though he has been working on Doctor Eye Health since January of last year, his first video didn’t launch until July 2018 due to the amount of research he wanted to conduct prior.

In an effort to give people content that is factual and easily understandable, Allen created Doctor Eye Health which serves as a visual resource that helps patients narrow their questions and gives them a better scope of their needs when they visit their eye doctor. Doctor Eye Health features videos such as, “Astigmatism Explained,” “Best Soft Contact Lenses in 2018—My Top 3 Daily Lenses,” and “3 Must Know Facts About Visual Floaters!” which all explain the topic in roughly 10 minutes. Read More 



Sydney Madrigal Is Representing Her Fellow Latinxs



Sydney Madrigal is one busy woman. She is a third-year student pursuing her Master’s degree in Public Health as well as her doctorate in optometry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She uses her Instagram page, Latina Optometrist, as a way to chronicle her life in optometry school as well as uplift and highlight women who are making a difference within the industry and their communities. “There are very powerful women in the industry, and I wanted to highlight that on my page. I strongly believe in women uplifting other women; I see that at every conference I go to and it makes me proud of the profession I chose,” she said.

Though she spent most of her life in South Florida, Madrigal is of Cuban decent and has created Latina Optometrist, a light-hearted and inspirational page that gives a voice to one of the minority groups in the optical industry. “Upon starting school in Birmingham, I knew I would be a minority in my class, but over time I realized I was also a minority in the field,” Madrigal explained. “My parents didn’t know much about applying to optometry school, I was pretty much on my own; this is what made me really start to think about the potential impact I could make.”

In the year Latina Optometrist has been up, the page has garnered 1,454 followers and counting. Madrigal mostly uses her voice to chronicle her life in optometry school as well as uplift and highlight women who are making a difference within the industry and their communities. Each Wednesday, she uses her own version of #WomanCrushWednesday and puts up a #WomenInEyecareWednesday post which showcases a female practitioner and what they have accomplished. Read More


 

Scott Lee, OD, Serves Up the Lighter Side of Optometry With ‘Sight Gags Cartoons’



If you are involved in the optical field in any way—student, optometrist, optician, supplier, retailer even journalist—you have definitely come across one of Dr. Scott Lee’s popular cartoons. While he is a full-time practitioner at Atlantis Eyecare, online, he is the witty brains behind Sight Gags Cartoons,  a collection of humorous optometry doodles that depict the hilarious and sometimes eyebrow-raising side of the science. “My initial inspiration was Gary Larson of The Far Side. That’s why they are all single panel cartoons,” he explained.

An artist turned optometrist, Lee got his art degree from the University of California Irvine in 1998 and later on went to get his doctorate in optometry from the UC Berkeley School of Optometry in 2002. In 2004, he decided to combine his love for both fields and created Sight Gags Cartoons in an effort to share some of the quirky encounters he experienced with patients. “I had a funny moment that happened during an eye exam and I made a doodle about it on our patient schedule,” Lee stated. “The staff liked it so much that I started making Sight Gags Cartoons. On the way home that day, I came up with about 20 more ideas.”

While Sight Gags feature mostly optometry humor, they are created in such a way that the general public can understand even if they have never stepped foot in an optometrist’s office. The cartoons feature characters such as Santa Claus, firemen, astronauts, the three wise monkeys and many more, in order to be relatable; their text is often punny combining our colloquial understanding of said characters with optometry-related terminology. Of course, because he is an optometrist, Dr. Lee also showcases the colorful characters of patients who show up in his chair and are immediately recognized by other optometrists around the world. Read More


Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Dr. Shalu Pal’s Instagram Page Is Emblematic of Her Jovial Team



Having fun while at the doctor’s office is not usually top of mind for most patients. But Shalu Pal and her team at Dr. Shalu Pal & Associates in Yorkville, Toronto, have made it a mission to give you major FOMO through their Instagram page, helmed by Pal herself. The page is a fun outlet for the practice, intended to lure you and curb your reservations about doctors and the often harrowing experience of being in an examination room. “Our page represents our happy office culture. We all love what we do and have fun helping people by making their lives better through vision. Making our patients happy is why we all work together,” Dr. Pal stated.

TORONTO, Ontario—Going to the doctor’s office can be quite daunting to some. The experience can be impersonal, with practitioners who are matter of fact and impersonable. And let’s face it, the whole thing can culminate into a dire diagnosis. DrShaluPal was created in 2016 as a companion page to a Facebook page she had created back in 2013. The goal for the page was to educate, as well as show personality and create a platform that people would want to engage with online, and in person. “When I started the office, I wanted to create a place where I loved coming to work every day. I was so lucky to find people who wanted the same thing. So we have fun together, we laugh and we enjoy ourselves at work. We bring our patients into this environment and make sure they feel welcome and enjoy their time with us.”

The page is a true reflection of the office culture Dr. Pal worked so hard to cultivate. It is updated at least three times per week with posts about what’s happening in their office, neighborhood or city. Everything from birthdays, holiday parties, eyewear giveaways, Halloween and NBA playoff celebrations can be found on DrShaluPal. The aggregation of content is of course, a team effort. Dr. Pal and her associates share a creative board where they post ideas to be shared online. Read More