Pre-reg focus

“I have already seen some interesting pathology”

Oran O'Connor, pre-reg optometrist at Specsavers in Newtownards, on blocking out time to speak to his supervisor every day and the pathology he has seen so far


I have been getting used to running my own clinic and seeing all different kinds of patients in my first few months of pre-reg. Typically, I see a good variety of patients in a day – whether for a sight test, or a contact lens fit or aftercare.

I have built a good relationship with my supervisors, who are very helpful and informative with any questions or queries. This has helped me to build my confidence. Each month, I will have at least one day dedicated to dispensing – allowing me to gain my required patient numbers and develop my dispensing skills to achieve the dispensing competencies necessary throughout Stage one.

A busy start

Pre-reg has been a change in routine from what I was used to at university. It is a busy year, and finding the balance between work and study has been crucial. I am also starting a Master’s course soon, so managing my time remains important.

I am blocked out of the diary for 45 minutes at the end of each day to sit down with my supervisor and go over each patient I have seen – which is an opportunity to ask questions or get tips to better develop my skills. This time also allows me to keep my logbook up to date.

I am blocked out of the diary for 45 minutes at the end of each day to sit down with my supervisor and go over each patient I have seen


When possible, at home, I like to research any pathology that I have seen through the working day to get a better understanding of what I have seen and so that, when I see it in the future, I can manage it correctly.

After less than two months as a pre-reg, I have already seen some interesting pathology. This has included some glaucoma, as well as cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients. I was really amazed and pleased by one patient who had AMD, who managed to see much more than expected with their magnifiers.

I also saw a patient in their 30s with reduced vision due to a traumatic cataract, which they had developed in childhood but that had recently worsened. I referred this patient to ophthalmology for further investigation and potentially cataract surgery in the future.

Over the next few months, I am excited to continue developing my skills by seeing a range of different patients, all with their own individual needs. Since starting my pre-reg, I have grown to be much more comfortable, and I look forward to this continuing.

I am also looking forward to taking part in the Specsavers Pre-reg Academy. Chatting to other pre-reg optometrists, hearing about their experiences and sharing information will help me to develop my own skills.