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Employee Spotlight – Founding ODs on Women’s Equality Day

Ten years. That’s how long FYidoctors has been in service as a doctor-led eyecare provider. It’s also how long each of these three women have been helping to lead the charge in creating our patient-focused organization.

 

Dr. Kerry Bishop, Dr. Tammy Crawford, and Dr. Tanya Flood are all founding optometrists at FYidoctors, involved since the company’s inception. We had the opportunity to speak with each one of them about their careers in optometry and their experience as leaders in the formation of FYidoctors ten years ago.

 

Read on to learn more about these incredible women in leadership, in their own words.

 

Dr. Kerry Bishop

 

Dr. Bishop is a partner optometrist at FYidoctors – Saskatoon – Atrium on 1st. She received her optometry degree from Indiana University. Before joining the team in Saskatoon in 2004, Dr. Bishop did externships in Indianapolis, New York, Orlando, and Quantico.

 

What do you love most about your job?

The time I take after the exam to visit with patients and get to know them. I have gotten a wealth of recommendations in dining, shopping, life lessons . . . and my most favourite are discussions on best places to travel. Patients are so interesting, both young and old. I always like when I can try to have a few laughs with them too . . . helps lighten the day. 

 

What’s one of your favourite moments from working at the clinic?

When we got contact lenses on a 3-month-old baby girl, post-cataract surgery, and she looked at her mom and responded to her with a smile. She was seeing for the first time since she was born. Was a real tear-jerker! 

 

Where would we find you when you’re not at FYidoctors?

With my husband chasing our 3 children . . . they are 7, 9, and 12 years old. They play lots of sports and we love to coach and watch them. Other than that, we like to travel and explore new places whenever we get a chance. 

 

What inspired you to be a part of the founding of FYidoctors?

FYidoctors early stages was a bunch of optometrists who were inspired do something bigger. As a team, we believed if we shared ideas and collaborated, we could really take eyecare to a new level. I knew I wanted to be on the train with these other like-minded spirits and not just watch from the sidelines. I have never been afraid of change or new ventures.

 

I remember the first partners meeting I was invited to with the Atrium group back in 2004. I knew this was where I belonged for my career . . . such an engaged group of ODs that truly put patients first and spent countless hours and meetings together brainstorming how to be “better” and take eyecare to the next level. Joining FYi years later has just been an even bigger extension of that. 

 

How has creating FYidoctors changed your job or your life?

I know our team at FYi are watching trends, technology, and products. I am able to spend most time outside work concentrating on our family and do not have to research how to keep our practice ahead of the curve. I trust we have the right people in place to keep our practice current and competitive.  

 

What about FYidoctors are you most proud of?

I am proud of how we have become more like family than just business partners over the years. In a big group like this, we sure do not agree on everything, that’s for sure . . . but just like family, we have the hard discussions and know we will come together in the end with the right decisions to move forward.

 

 

Dr. Tanya Flood

 

Dr. Flood is a founding optometrist and shareholder at FYidoctors. She is actively involved in many volunteer efforts to educate the community on the importance of eye health including hosting talks at seniors’ groups, family physician education seminars, concussion and vision seminars, community eye safety talks, and more. Dr. Flood is an enthusiastic advocate for eye health and prevention of eye disease. This month marks her 20th year of practice!

 

What makes your clinic a unique place to work?

Every single team member is dedicated to making our patient’s experience meaningful and personalized, all while aiming to provide our patient’s with eyecare and products which enhance their lives! My clinic sponsors yearly international eyecare projects by collecting eyewear from our community and providing doctors and optometric assistants to provide eyecare for those most in need.

 

What made you want to work in eyecare?

Unique eye issues run in my family! This has created a keen interest in me to want to prevent vision loss in people. As well, when I was in Grade 3 I was struggling with school and was brought for an eye examination. It was discovered that I had a high level of nearsightedness and could only see 30cm in front of my nose, so I was missing everything the teacher was writing on the board! This made me want to focus on detecting eye issues in children before it interfered with their learning.

What is the most important advice you want to give your patients?

Since 75% of vision loss can be prevented, it is critical to have your eye examined regularly by your optometrist.

Eighty per cent of what you do each day requires the use of your eyes. In fact, you use your eyes more than your car or your teeth; so, like your car or teeth, your eyes require regular check-ups! Every child should have their eyes examined by the age of 3 and then every year until age 19. By age 60, 1 in 9 of us has an eye disease causing vision loss, so people should be coming every year after this.

Where would we find you when you’re not at FYidoctors?

Having fun with my husband Chris and our 3 children, Rowen age 16, Jasmine age 10, and Denver age 10. [We enjoy] hiking, biking the amazing local trails, playing board and card games, and volunteering.

Over the past 20 years, my husband and I have been contributing to community projects and initiatives by giving personal time and/or resources.

Some volunteer examples include our local Terry Fox Run (Co-chair with my husband Chris) and council member and fundraiser for the local Success by 6 community projects. I have also been a volunteer optometrist and fundraiser for a Rotary sponsored eyecare project for children and migrant farmers in Mexico for the past 5 years.

What inspired you to be a part of the FYidoctors founding?

From the perspective of our patients, the impact of the economy on our community has been significant, causing many people to be less able to afford appropriate eyecare for their families.  As part of our commitment to our community we responded by creating FYidoctors, thus allowing many clinics to work together to source new products and create pricing packages for individuals and families within every budget. 

From our local clinic perspective, the time leading up to our formation of FYidoctors in 2008 was a time of large corporations making it difficult for small eyecare clinics such as us, to provide our patients with eyewear products and eyecare diagnostic technologies, due to the high cost of these, compared to what large companies could access. Forming FYi allowed us to immediately serve our patients with better pricing on eyewear products and accessing the highest technology available in eyecare.

Finally, my strong belief in the doctor defining how patient care is provided and not a large or multinational corporation.

How has creating FYidoctors changed your job or your life?

It has made it amazingly easy for me to provide my patients with the highest level of eyecare, using all the latest diagnostic technologies. Plus, it has allowed me to be able to tell me patients that we have worked very hard to provide them with the best pricing available on every product.

What about FYidoctors are you most proud of?

We are a truly Canadian company, which is creating high quality lens products in Canada. We were built by dedicated optometrists that believe in doctor-led eyecare for our patients.

We continue our local volunteer eyecare efforts where both doctors and assistants go out to extended care units, the hospital and do home visits, to do eye exams and adjust, clean, and engrave glasses.  We also go to preschools, health fairs, and remote communities to provide eye health screening and education.  We truly believe in the importance of keeping our community seeing well.

 

Dr. Tammy Crawford

Dr. Crawford is a contract optometrist at FYidoctors, who has been practicing at the Penticton location for 20 years. She received her Doctor of Optometry from the University of Waterloo in 1993. She has had two Third World Eye Care Society (TWECS) trips to Bolivia and Tanzania, where she provided eye care to thousands of locals in need.

What makes your clinic a unique place to work?

[We are in] one of the nicest locations in Canada, across the street from Okanagan Lake. This clinic has existed in some form for 80 years. Our Dr. McLeod had a grandfather who was an optometrist and practiced in Penticton, as did his father.

What made you want to work in eyecare?

I started wearing glasses at the age of 5 and simply developed an interest in the profession and wanted to help others with their eyecare needs, as I was helped at a young age.

What do you love most about your job?

Making a difference in someone's life by either diagnosing and treating a disease or helping them see better.  I also love the personal connection with the families in the Okanagan that I have grown, with having practiced here for 20 years.

What’s one of your favourite moments from working at the clinic?

I have had 3 patients who have thanked me for saving their lives based on a cancer diagnosis that they did not know they had.  I have also enjoyed time with the staff for summer fun parties, hockey games in town where we have been the sponsor, etc.

What do you think the future of eyecare holds?

Improved diagnosis and treatment of disease with the advances in imaging technology and genetic testing, [and] hopefully getting to a point where more prevention of disease is possible.

What is the most important advice you want to give your patients?

Take care of your eyes! They are the windows to your world and are irreplaceable. Follow things like good nutrition, UV protection, reduced screen time, and routine eye health exams.

Where would we find you when you’re not at FYidoctors?

Hanging with my family (husband and 9-year-old son), at the Okanagan beaches and parks, or having a nice glass of wine with friends.

What inspired you to be a part of the FYidoctors founding?

The talent of the group of doctors that originally met in Kelowna, the opportunity to form a doctor-driven organization that puts patients first, and the ability to get the newest imaging technology by pooling the resources of large clinics in Western Canada.

How has creating FYidoctors changed your job or your life?

The opportunity to have the newest imaging technology in our clinics 10 years ago, which changed how I practiced.  As an owner of a clinic, it also presented the option to have a maternity leave without the stress of wondering how I was going to cover the overhead while not working, which was such a relief.

What about FYidoctors are you most proud of?

The doctors and other talented staff that are a part of this organization and the passion that they have for the profession and the future of optometry. I am proud that we are a doctor driven organization. And I am proud of the patient pathway - putting patients first!

Where do you see the future of FYidoctors heading?

Continuing to grow across Canada (and possibly beyond) with an emphasis on the newest technological advancements in eyecare and lens technology.