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Dr. Maureen Oyaide-Ofenor's Blueprint For Independent Eyecare Excellence

February 28, 2024

In the world of eyecare, where the personal touch can get lost in the hustle and bustle, OSI Group Member Dr. Maureen Oyaide-Ofenor stands out as a beacon of inspiration. Her journey to founding an independent clinic in Walkerton, Ontario, is a showcase of personal tenacity and commitment to community.

Dr. Oyaide-Ofenor's professional odyssey began at the University of Benin, Nigeria, where she earned her Doctor of Optometry (OD). She next honed her skills in a military hospital in Lagos and in private practice before embarking on further education in Canada. At the University of Waterloo, she pursued a Masters in Vision Science, complemented by an externship in Calgary under Dr. Ian Campbell Associates.

From early on, the allure of career independence compelled her, "I knew I wanted my own practice. Back in Nigeria, that's what was popular…I wanted to choose who would work for me or with me." Shortly after the birth of her child, Dr. Oyaide-Ofenor acquired an existing clinic and transformed it into Vine Eye Care. Indeed, the move, as exciting as it was, wasn't without challenges. The absence of an optician had Dr. Oyaide-Ofenor fulfilling multiple roles. As she puts it, "My family had to understand I would likely miss dinner."

The situation was compounded by the clinic's rural location, making recruitment difficult. Over time, though, these challenges were overcome by strategic planning and digital strides. Most notably, Dr. Oyaide-Ofenor benefitted from an online matching program for recruiting licensed opticians.

In fact, being in a rural setting lent itself to a fruitful collaboration. She expresses how the bond she developed with a newly relocated ophthalmologist may not have been possible in a different setting: "[Here], we can actually get to know each other. We're not lost like we'd be in the city."

Having planted her roots, Dr. Oyaide-Ofenor next decided to expand her offerings as an accredited vision therapist. The move allowed her to market a new specialization to local professionals, further establishing her reputation in the area. Embracing a collaborative approach to treatment, she connected with a broad network of healthcare providers ranging from massage therapists to neurologists. In addition, the specialization allowed her to expand services from children to adults suffering from traumatic brain injuries.

Thanks to Dr. Oyaide-Ofenor's adaptability and innovation, we see how independent optometry offers a path rich with possibilities for professional growth. "Don't be nervous," she advises new graduates, "it's going to be intimidating and scary, but it pays off in the end. And, of course, joining OSI allows you to reach out to mentors like me, here to help as you transition into your new career."

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