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Ritu is one of a handful of specialist optometrists in the UK that has dedicated her full time to working in the refractive surgery industry for more than 12 years.
After completing a Bachelors degree in Optometry at Aston University she went on to complete professional qualifications in London. She has achieved a Masters degree in Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at UMIST in Manchester, funded by a MRC grant. Her dissertation, completed with Professor N. Efron the then president of the BCLA, has been published numerously and continues to be referred to in research many years thereafter.
After several years of experience in general practice working with children, the elderly and disabled patients, she wanted to broaden her experience and clinical skills. The journey to present day began at Optimax, in 1999, when the original PRK treatment was only performed on one eye at a time. Modern LASIK now allows both eyes to be treated on the same day without pain, with recovery in hours rather than days.
Since then Ritu has spent several years working with most of the other providers of refractive surgery in the UK, e.g Optical Express, and Ultralase, and has a unique vantage point comparing the various laser platforms.
Ritu has been with Focus Clinic for 7 years working with world-class surgeons providing advice during consultations for LASIK, LASEK and intraocular surgical solutions.
Can you tell us more about your role at Focus Clinic?
I have worked closely with David Allamby for over 8 years. I would describe what I do at work as a ‘proxy’ for the surgeons. I see patients for their initial assessment at Focus. I advise and try to set expectations regarding the outcomes of refractive surgery. I see all patients for their thorough aftercare post operatively. I enjoy being involved in the coaching and training of members of our team. I am currently involved in a Continuing Education Training (CET) program at Focus for Optometrists to learn and be educated in the ever evolving field of refractive surgery.
What part of your job do you like the most?
The aspect of my job I like the most is being patient facing. Every patient is an individual character, each with varying backgrounds, lifestyles and challenges they endure with their sight. I can say – everyday I enjoy being involved in changing patients’ lives for the better.
If you had to choose 3 words to describe your work environment, what will they be?
Have you benefited from any eye surgery or have you introduced someone to that technology?
At almost every family gathering a small queue forms near me – (usually when I’m eating!) and one by one I get quizzed about current advances in technology, surgical outcomes and patient satisfaction. Personally I have not been able to have surgery. However many of my loved ones – friends and family and colleagues have benefited from becoming glasses free!
According to you, what makes Focus Clinic unique?
I’m sure we will all answer the same to this question. What makes focus unique is the team who work there! We are multi-disciplined and all looking to help each other. I believe we are all warm, genuine, and caring individuals. And while that might not have been the reasons why we were selected for the job, it is definitely the reason we continue to work together for so many years.
I no longer have any glasses-wearing friends - they've all had treatment at Focus!Ritu Jagpal