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AOP Awards 2018

Newly-qualified Optometrist of the Year 2018

Jasmine Smith has been awarded the Newly-qualified Optometrist of the Year 2018

Winner: Jasmine Smith

Full-time optometrist, pre-registration supervisor and part-time doctorate student Jasmine Smith knew from an early age that optometry was right for her.

Jasmine Smith’s interest in optometry was ignited after receiving myopic correction as a teenager. “On wearing my specs, I was amazed by how improved and clear my vision was, which is when I was inspired to become an optometrist – I wanted to give this gift to others.”

In her current role, Ms Smith says the most rewarding aspect is seeing patients return fit and healthy after a referral. “Knowing that your intervention, having identified and dealt with a problem appropriately, has potentially saved someone’s sight, and sometimes their life, is very rewarding,” she shares.

Currently undertaking a doctorate with Aston University, Ms Smith is a keen advocate for life-long learning in the profession. Speaking to other newly-qualified optometrists she says, “your hunger for knowledge doesn’t need to stop upon qualification or when you have reached your CET requirement. There are plenty of opportunities out there to develop new skills, keep up-to-date, boost your CV and ultimately improve patient care.”

“Knowing that your intervention has potentially saved someone’s sight, and sometimes their life, is very rewarding”

Jasmine Smith

Runners up

Finalist: Luke Allen

Going above and beyond is part of the day job for newly-qualified optometrist Luke Allen.

For Luke Allen, optometry provided the perfect mix. “I knew that I wanted to pursue something that was science based, and I wanted it to tie in with people,” he explains.

Since qualify Mr Allen has thrown himself into practice, with a particular interest in myopia control for younger patients, sharing, “it's a really good feeling, especially when you think about the difference you are making in the long-term.”

Finalist: Marcus Slater

Involved in his local optical committee, and with his sights set on becoming independent prescriber qualified, Marcus Slater is enthusiastic about the future. 

“I believe passionately in the skillset and competence of optometrists,” shares Marcus Slater, who is currently working as a locum optometrist.

Having worked previously as a dispensing optician, Mr Slater, believes the best part of his role is making a different to his patients, explaining, “Sometimes even the smallest change or advice can have a big difference on a patient’s sight.