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Employee Spotlight: Dr. Ashala Mah

FYidoctors Blog | Meet the Optometrists at Our New Granville Mall Clinic

Dr. Ashala Mah hit the ground running at the start of her optometry career and hasn’t stopped bringing dedicated and expert eyecare to patients ever since. In her third year of optometry school, she travelled to Romania on an eyecare mission trip with VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity). Additionally, Dr. Mah has worked with students at the Optometry School in Mzuzu Malawi. There, she and the optometric students provided eyecare and glasses to patients and traveled to small villages to do in-school screenings. Believing that the future of eyecare lies in a holistic, collaborative approach between each of a patient’s healthcare professionals, Dr. Mah continues to put patients first at our new Granville Mall clinic. 

 

What is your current role with FYidoctors?

I am an optometrist at the new FYidoctors location in Granville Mall.

 

Briefly describe your educational background and training locations.

I have an Undergraduate Degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology from the University of Saskatchewan and a Doctor of Optometry Degree from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry, where I graduated with distinction. I was awarded the FYiPractice Excellence Award in my fourth year of school and given the opportunity to attend the American Academy of Optometry conference in Denver, Colorado. I also took part in an ocular disease externship in Tampa Bay, Florida, where I worked alongside a retinal specialist, oculoplastic surgeon and a cataract specialist.

 

What makes your clinic a unique place to work?

We have a beautiful clinic with all the leading technology to assist with the early detection of any eye disease. Our optical has many boutique and designer frames. The staff and doctors here genuinely care about our patients and want everyone to have a wonderful experience at our clinic. We are located in a busy shopping district and we have a "virtual try-on" screen in our store front windows – which is pretty cool!

 

What made you want to work in eyecare?

I knew at a young age that I wanted to be a healthcare professional and that I wanted to help people. I love that optometry gives me that opportunity. It is a field that mixes healthcare, technology, and fashion, and allows me to travel and help people in other countries

FYidoctors Blog | Meet the Optometrists at Our New Granville Mall Clinic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you love most about your job?

I love interacting with new people every day and getting to see my patients year after year. I also enjoy helping solve any ocular related issues my patients might have and assisting with choosing a frame that makes them look and feel great!

 

What’s one of the most challenging parts of your job?

For me, one of the most challenging parts of being an optometrist is keeping work at work and not taking it home. My fiancé is also an optometrist, so we talk eyes a lot. 

 

What is one of your favourite moments working at the clinic?

We’ve only just started working here together, but we have a lot of laughs!

 

Where do you see the future of eyecare going?

There has been a shift to a more holistic approach with all health professions. So, I think that we will co-manage our patients with their other healthcare practitioners and treat each patient as a whole – rather than just a set of eyes. I also think that with increased awareness about eye disease, dry eye, and digital eye strain, we will see more people coming in for routine eye exams. Whereas in the past, people figured, "I don't need glasses, so I don't need to see an optometrist!"

 

What is the most important piece of advice you can give your patients?

Wear sunglasses! Also, I always stress the importance of routine eye exams at least every two years in healthy individuals. Early detection is key, and many eye diseases are asymptomatic in the early stages.

 

What is your personal eyewear style?

I love statement sunglasses and cat eye shapes. Although, the smaller retro-style is in as well. I'm also loving tinted lenses these days, I think they're making a comeback!

 

Where would we find you when you are not at FYidoctors?

In the summer, you might find me either hiking on the north shore mountains in B.C., biking around town or at the beach. In the winter, you might find me snowboarding in Whistler or doing a hot yoga class.

 

Anything else you would like to add? Any anecdotes or special memories?

In my first month of practicing, I detected an aneurysm in a patient. She went in for surgery a few days later. Three months after that, she and her husband came back to see me. They both gave me a big hug and thanked me. They said that the surgeon told them I likely had saved her life.

 

Experience Dr. Mah’s dedicated approach towards eyecare for yourself or come try on our frames, in optical or virtually! Book for our Granville location today.