Finding support from family
Optometrist and practice owner, Ameerah Riaz Ahmed, shares how her family have been the driving force and motivation behind her career aspirations
Who is your inspiration and can you tell us more about them?My main inspiration has always been my parents. Both my mother and father have worked very hard in their lives to provide their children with a good quality of life and memorable experiences for me in my childhood.
My father immigrated to the UK and started with very little. Through hard work and perseverance he helped build us a better quality of life. My mother continued her further education whilst having children, and with the support of my grandma and father she was able to go onto become a lead health professional, which inspires me every day.
Why did you decide to study optometry?I always wanted a career that would be health related and help others in need. Seeing my mother work in the NHS, exposed me to the healthcare sector and I loved seeing the impact health professionals can have on people’s lives. One of the many things I love about optometry is giving patients the ability to improve their most important sense; sight. Still to this day, I am in awe at the reaction of patients when I help improve their vision.
Seeing my mother work in the NHS, exposed me to the healthcare sector and I loved seeing the impact health professionals can have on people’s lives
Did they play a part in shaping any of your career choices?
My parents have always inspired me to be the best that I can be. However, another recent inspiration to me has been my daughter. I had my daughter in lockdown, in the most uncertain of times. Soon after having her I felt that I wanted to build a legacy for her and show her the importance of giving patients high quality care and the impact this has on their lives. So me and my husband, Nasir Ahmed, decided to become independent practice owners of a lovely family-run established practice, Cacoullis Opticians in Halesowen, that I have known since childhood.
What attributes do you most admire about them?
Can you share one thing you’ve learnt from your parents or daughter?
I have learnt many things from my parents and from my daughter. One of the main things is that this journey through our lives and careers is a constant learning and listening process, and to enjoy every moment of it.
Is there anyone else that you would like to mention that has inspired you throughout your optometry career?
I have been inspired by many people throughout my career and I make sure to surround myself with positive people who uplift one another. Another person who has been an inspiration to me is an optometrist director, Emma Singh, who I worked with for a few years. She was a mum of two (now three) at the time and I was inspired with how patients loved the quality of care they received from her combined with her fun and friendly nature whilst also juggling being a mum.
I have learnt many things from my parents and from my daughter. One of the main things is that this journey through our lives and careers are a constant learning and listening process, and to enjoy every moment of it
If you could help to inspire someone, what words of advice would you give to them?
Don’t ever think that you are not capable of reaching your potential. If you see an opportunity arise grab it with full force and don’t look back. Life is a constant learning process and if we don’t challenge ourselves from time to time, we will not unlock our full potential.
In March 2021 OT reported on Ameerah Riaz Ahmed and Nasir Ahmed’s purchase of Cacoullis Opticians in Halesowen, that can be read in full here.