My name is Edward Lee and I have been practising optometry for about 2.5 years now. I was born and raised in Sydney for 18 years before moving to brisbane where I went to university at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), graduated and started working at Specsavers indooroopilly for 2 years. Recently in 2021 I moved back to Sydney and have been managing an independent practice in parramatta called “Eyes Only”.
Tell us a bit about yourself
If I'm not testing eyes and scrolling/making tiktoks, you can catch me soaking in the sun.
Hobbies include anything outdoorsy: hiking, kayaking, walking by the water, tanning at the beach.
I’m also a bit of a travel bug and really enjoy solo travelling, sightseeing, taking in new cultures and enjoying all the yummy food and wine they have to offer. RIP to previous and future travel plans due to COVID-19 :(
What made you want to study optometry/be an optometrist?
My family was the biggest influence, we have a small family in Australia but nearly everyone is in the optical industry. My mother is an optometrist and my father has been in the optical industry managing 1001 Optical for the past ~30 years. My 2 uncles are in the optical industry and I also have an aunty that’s an optometrist. Growing up, all the chats at the dinner table were about eyes, glasses, contact lenses so I knew from a young age that this was what I wanted to do.
What inspired you to create an Instagram and TikTok page about Optometry?
It all started in the good old 2020 COVID lockdowns. Innocently downloaded tiktok to kill some time, fast forward 2 weeks and i found myself really enjoying and using the platform a lot.
I wanted to make videos on tiktok to reach and educate a younger audience. I thought to myself, people across the world may not have access to eye health advice/information and I wanted to make this more accessible.
I also wanted to change the perception that optometrists and health professionals are boring. I wanted to show that we also have a fun personality and I wanted to do this through educational content.
Now my content has been half about the eyes and giving advice where I can and half just having fun and jumping on tiktok trends (life’s too short not to have fun).
Where can we find and follow your page?
@edwardbisharalee on tiktok & @optometry_with_eddy on instagram
However, most of my content can be found on tiktok.
Fun surprise fact you can also find me on @optoms_of_ig as I occasionally make a few relatable optometry memes for fun and laughs.
Tell us about your typical day or week as a business owner? What do you find are the most challenging aspects and most rewarding?
Typical day for me would include coming into work in the morning, checking in with my team and having a quick scan of the diary for upcoming appointments and jobs that need to be processed/collected.
Once the diary has been checked and managed, I'll usually scan through all the store emails to make sure nothing is being missed and return any missed phone calls or voicemails.
As the day progresses, we will have patients stroll in for their consultations and try to give them the best eye testing/glasses processing experience possible.
Most challenging aspect would be ensuring my staff and my patients are well looked after. Sometimes this can be quite tricky in the face of confrontation or when differences in opinions/arguments arise between customers and staff.
Most rewarding aspect would be having return customers duck in as they are doing their shopping to just pop in and say hi, or returning customers that wanted to duck in and tell us how amazing their glasses/eye test experience was.
How do you keep up with the optometry world?
Mainly through chatting with colleagues, friends and instagram/tiktok.
Do you have any advice for young optometrists out there who would like to pursue their passion but haven’t quite gotten started?
Just get started. I think too many people (myself included) focus too much on planning and researching their passion and constantly procrastinate and push back the start date. The best way to learn is from experience, it’s okay to make mistakes, to learn from them and do it better next time round. Nobody will be perfect on their first attempt and it’s all a learning process.