“I am honoured to have been recognised by my peers and patients”

Dipesh Chhatralia talks to OT  about being named Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year at the AOP Awards 2020

Dipesh

How does it feel to win?

It’s so exciting to win an award in something I am passionate about. I am honoured to have been recognised by my peers and patients.

What does winning an AOP award mean to you?

I feel a great sense of achievement winning a national award in my chosen profession. Our practice, Parker & Hammond, sees patients from around the UK and overseas. I hope winning the award will continue to raise the profile of our practice and reinforce that patients have chosen the right place to come for exceptional - and now award-winning - eye care.

I wanted to go into a healthcare profession to help improve the quality of life of people, and optometry was the career that appealed to me the most

 


Why did you choose optics as a career?

I have worn glasses since the age of 12 and have grown up going to the optometrist. I wanted to go into a healthcare profession to help improve the quality of life of people, and optometry was the career that appealed to me the most.

What is the most rewarding part of being a contact lens practitioner, and why?

I was lucky to have a hospital pre-reg, and quite early on in my career I was involved in fitting specialist contact lenses for visual rehabilitation for patients with irregular corneas. This specialised area of contact lenses is what I enjoy and find the most rewarding, as I am helping patients who have impaired vision that often cannot be corrected with normal spectacles or contact lenses. It’s brilliant to see their reaction once you have fitted a pair of custom contact lenses that restores their vision beyond their expectations.

What are your three tips for being the best contact lens practitioner possible?

Remember to put the patient first and foremost, learn from your peers, and always try and be better tomorrow by enhancing your knowledge and experience.

What’s your biggest achievement of the past year?

Winning the AOP Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year 2020!

And finally, what is your next career goal?

I would like to complete Independent Prescribing (IP) training.