WesternU College of Optometry alumnus Wallace Wong, OD ’14, recently opened Theory Optical in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
What is your fondest memory of the College of Optometry professionally and/or personally? What do you love about the College?
I think the best memories are the “firsts” that we got to experience: First day of orientation, first day of clerkship, etc. I think about my wonderful College of Optometry family often because I live and practice so far away from anyone else. Other colleagues that I’ve met in Toronto are great too, but it’s not the same as connecting with someone from the House of Galileo! LOL.
Why did you choose the College of Optometry?
I first heard about vision therapy from the College website, and it really intrigued me because it was a completely new and different realm of eye care that I was not exposed to. I’m so glad and thankful that the College provided me with so many opportunities to work with therapy and rehab patients that helped me to foster my interest in this important field of optometry. I’m excited to share that I am opening up a VT practice in Toronto.
Why did you choose the profession of optometry?
I have always admired the “prevention” aspect of optometry. When I used to work in an ophthalmology clinic, most new patients already had advanced disease. Optometry has an important role to maintain good ocular health and that is why I like to spend a little extra time to educate my patients about preventative strategies. I also opened a myopia control clinic in my hometown that I commute to on the weekends.
What is your current goal for professional development? What is your next “thing” or next professional goal? What is on your vision board?
I recently signed a lease for a retail space in the medical building where I practice. I will use this space for an optical dispensary and a vision therapy practice. I feel very fortunate to be able to focus on the things that I have been interested in since school: optical, paediatrics and specialty contact lenses. You cannot give up on your passion and goals if they do not happen for you when you expect. You must continue to prepare for it to happen. Gather information, keep planning, take opportunities, try different things, write down any ideas, get advice from those you trust, and then things start to happen!
What is the last thing that really moved you – happy, excited, tears of joy, or any emotion?
I love hearing stories about front line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, from doctors and nurses, to grocery clerks and delivery personnel.
What gets you out of bed in the morning? What is your “why”?
Family is both my what and why. It’s either my toddler waking me up to play, or my infant crying. I love being a parent and getting to see the next generation grow is a blessing.
In light of recent news – do you have any tips on how you are adapting to social distancing, online learning, working off campus, caring for patients amid this pandemic?
We all have to help each other during this troubled time and do what needs to be done. Physical distancing protects ourselves and our loved ones. Take this time to be social using other means, and checking in on friends and family, especially those who live alone, is also very important. It’s understandable that this pandemic can disrupt your normal life, but above all, we have to stay positive and optimistic.