Dr. Aaron Patel knew he wanted to become an optometrist at a young age, as he found the balance of medicine and business to be an intriguing dichotomy.
However, as he progressed throughout his profession Dr. Patel discovered his passion for meeting interesting people through work. He considers many of the people he has treated to be his friends and consistently looks forward to enhancing the lives of his patients through comprehensive eyecare.
Continue reading to learn more about what Dr. Patel brings to the FYidoctors team.
I am the Lead Optometrist at the Edmonton on 107 Ave. and St. Albert on Perron Street FYidoctors locations.
I have an undergraduate degree specializing in biology from the University of Alberta. I graduated from Pacific University College of Optometry with distinction in 2002. My clinical externships included the Landstuhl Regional Medical Centre in Germany and the Veterans Affairs hospital in Fresno California. I have since focused on treating ocular disease and dry eye therapy.
After owning the clinics for many years and being highly involved in the progress of the optometric profession, I could see that what FYidoctors was doing was in line with the future of optometry. The company has strong industry relationships in Canada that provides access to better products, technology and value for my patients.
When I first started practicing, I would get excited about the interesting eye conditions that would show up in patients. Now, I get excited about the interesting people that I meet through my work—many of whom I now consider friends.
Work is also enjoyable because I have a great staff. Together, we get to help wonderful people on a daily basis.
My uncle was an optometrist and I needed glasses since I was a teenager. This gave me early exposure to a profession that most would probably overlook. But as a nerdy kid I found optometry fascinating. I liked how the job would allow me to help people medically but still had an interesting business component to it.
I love how there are always new things. New technology, new treatments, new products, new people. The way I helped someone ten years ago is different to what I would do today in so many cases.
Staying thorough in your work. Like any job, it is easy to want to take a shortcut. However, my experience has taught me you need to be thorough because it’s integral for the treatment, health and wellbeing of your patients.
I had a patient come in for a routine check-up. I noticed some burst blood vessels in his retina so I checked his blood pressure. It was 250/160 (super high!). We got him to the hospital right away. His wife came back into the clinic and she was crying. She told us that her husband would have died had it not been for that eye exam. I still see the whole family to this day.
Eyecare treatments and technology will continue to change. I think we will use artificial intelligence to make more accurate diagnoses. But the fundamentals won’t change. The best eyecare clinics will always be those that listen to and understand their patients’ needs.
Protect your vision. Wear sunglasses or a hat. You should not go more than two years without a routine eye checkup. Don’t ignore changes in your vision—if you notice any changes be sure to come in for an appointment right away.
I generally wear contact lenses, but my favourite glasses are usually lightweight and don’t slide down my nose. I’m more practical than fashionable, I know.
I love to travel. I have been fortunate to be part of many eyecare trips around the world. These trips have allowed me to see how people live in a much different way. I find it very rewarding to make a difference, and travelling helps me to put things in perspective.
Lately my days and nights have been revolving around our new baby girl. I feel it will be my greatest adventure yet.