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Employee Spotlight: Dr. Jake Kelly and Dr. Ryan Hogan at FYidoctors - Assiniboia

Posted on September 23rd, 2015

With over 280 locations across Canada, FYidoctors employees are some of the most dedicated and passionate eye care professionals working in the industry. Meet the people who make us who we are.

How long have you been an optometrist?
Dr. Kelly: I've been practicing for about 5 years now.

Dr. Hogan: 3 years and counting! I graduated in June of 2012 and began practicing in July of 2012.

What is it that made you want to become an eye doctor?
Dr. Kelly: My biggest influence was my uncle, Dr. Kerby Kelly, who also works at FYidoctors – Assiniboia. I knew from high school onwards that I wanted to end up in a science or medical field, and once I realized that I would like to practice as a physician, it was a matter of finding which field to participate in. I had always admired Kerby's profession and, with his help, I ended up working a summer in his practice. That work experience was amazing and gave me enough information to make my decision easy. After two years of science-based courses, optometry was the only field I applied for. I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Dr. Hogan: I have a history of vision problems and have been wearing glasses since I was three-years old. I always had an incredible experience at my optometrist's office - Dr. Bob Neumann, who is our lead OD at FYidoctors Northgate and Victoria Square - and thought it would be a good fit for me. I wanted to learn more about my own eyes and realized that I could help people with the same issues.

What do you love most about your job?
Dr. Kelly: Patient interaction. I love the fact that each and every day when I go to work I'm able to get to see new faces and interact with my patients one-on-one.

Dr. Hogan: Raising awareness for vision care and helping my patients reach their full vision potential.

What is one of the most challenging parts of your job? 
Dr. Kelly: Relaying bad news. Like a lot of physicians, I find it difficult to tell a patient or their loved one that he or she is starting to develop a sight-threatening eye disease. There are a lot of studies out there addressing the importance of eyesight, but when you're completing an eye exam that's just detected macular degeneration, you realize that the next few words you're about to tell this patient are going to be life changing. I always try to fall back on how I would want that diagnosis to be communicated to me if I was in that exam chair.

Dr. Hogan: I also find it hard delivering bad news. From restricting patients from driving to diagnosing rapid, untreatable vision loss. I am a very positive person and I find delivering difficult news the most challenging part of the job.

What’s one of your favourite moments from working at the clinic?
Dr. Kelly: We had an elderly patient who was getting his first exam with us and had been experiencing double vision for several years. He would actually see two TVs when he sat down to watch the news, and he had compensated for this by closing one eye. During the exam, I diagnosed the patient with a weakened eye muscle and was able to prescribe glasses to correct his double vision. The moment I remember best is when the patient was picking up his new glasses. I happened to be in the room at that time and to see the look on his face was astounding. It was truly a transformative improvement for him.

Dr. Hogan: I have to say that for me, it's a collection of moments. The community is not afraid to say "thank you" with respect to our commute here, which is quite a long distance. I always feel great when someone expresses their thanks because it confirms my belief that we are making a difference.

What do you love most about FYidoctors - Assiniboia
Dr. Kelly: Our patient base. Rural Saskatchewan is an incredible place to live. I think what best describes the environment is walking into a busy waiting room during a difficult morning and seeing waiting patients who aren't in a foul mood, but are laughing, chatting, and speaking with their fellow neighbours. Assiniboia and the surrounding community have been nothing but a pleasure for me to live and work in.

Dr. Hogan: The people of Assiniboia. The patients that visit our clinic make the difference. Everyone is very humble and easy to get along with. I truly enjoy my days out here.

What services do you offer at FYidoctors - Assiniboia? 
Dr. Kelly: We offer comprehensive eye exams using current diagnostic equipment that can detect eye diseases and other conditions traditional exams might miss. We also offer customized lenses using Internal Freeform technology, and we have a large selection of designer frames and sunglasses that are perfect for any style, budget and vision issue.

Dr. Hogan: We also work closely with local ophthalmologists to provide referrals for surgery and the best possible patient care.

What’s the most important thing people should know about their eye health?
Dr. Kelly: Eye disease can and will be present without symptoms. In fact, there are several eye conditions where a patient will not be able to recognize on their own that a change is occurring in their vision. They simply don't know they have an issue. Early detection is key and will always lead to better outcomes.

Dr. Hogan: Vision is not simply "20/20". There are many systemic diseases that can have an early presentation in the eyes. An optometrist can detect potentially life-threatening issues during a routine eye examination. Regular eye check-ups are crucial to overall health.

Where do you see the future of optometry going?
Dr. Kelly: I truly believe a more patient-centred approach will continue to become more widespread—from browsing the latest frame brands on your mobile device, to quick and easy online bookings, to the most accurate diagnosis of any eye conditions, followed by careful remedial advice, informative lens recommendations, and simple and fun eyewear purchases. I really do believe that the eye care experience will continue to grow into the type of friendly, patient-focused environment we offer here at FYidoctors.

Dr. Hogan: Patient-centered medical care is what it's all about for me. Optometry as an industry is ever-changing and will always be relevant. The abilities of an optometrist to treat eye disease will continue to grow along with our scope of practice. I believe the public is beginning to realize that their optometrist is more than just the place to go for glasses. 

To book an eye exam with Dr. Kelly or Dr. Hogan, contact FYidoctors - Assiniboia.