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New Graduate Experience: Karuna Darvesh

18 Dec 2023 11:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Karuna Darvesh graduated optometry at the end of 2022 and is going on to the end of her graduate year at Specsavers. She enjoys taking her dog for little adventures, playing sports, traveling to new places, and eating different cuisines. She recently had the exciting opportunity to perform Bharatanatyam (an ancient classical Indian dance form) at the Qudos Bank Arena to welcome the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narenda Modi. 

Tell us about your journey as a new graduate optometrist!

The transition from doing numerous placements during university to a graduate optometrist was initially a challenging experience. I am very grateful to all my mentors and colleagues for all their patience and support in helping me to develop my skills, communication and confidence as a practitioner. The open door policy allowed me to ask questions or get a second opinion at any time with my designated mentor. There have also been several new graduate events held throughout to check in with all first year graduates, which is a nice way to interact with peers and share each others’ experiences. 

Ocular Disease that you find interesting

It’s always exciting when you see your very first presentation of a disease (especially when it was assessed in your therapeutics oral exam!) For me this was acute anterior uveitis and it is rewarding when your management can help the patient. 

What drives your passion for Optometry? Qudos Bank Arena performance photo

Being able to help people to experience clearer, comfortable and functional vision is what drives my passion for optometry. It is so satisfying to see the positive impact that you can have on a patient’s quality of life through your recommendations and management. It has taught me to never underestimate the importance of the small things which can actually make a great difference. 

Do you have any goals for your optometry career?

My goals for optometry include learning new skills, experiencing practice at different locations and ultimately becoming the best optometrist that I can be. I want to strive to continue making a difference to the lives of my patients. It is all about addressing and understanding the patient’s concern and giving them the best care that you possibly can to improve their quality of life. 

Looking back at this year, what was your biggest worry going in as a new graduate and how did you overcome that? (if you could remember) 

My biggest worry going in as a new graduate was time management. I started off with almost 1 hour long appointment slots and this time was slowly reduced over the year. This enabled me to hone my clinical skills and focus on improving upon areas of weakness. I also worked a few days at other stores to challenge myself and learn to adapt to different environments.

What advice would you give to optometry students who are about to become graduate optometrists in 2024?

Embrace this new chapter in your life, keep an open mind and be willing to learn as much as possible. Learn from your mentors, colleagues and friends. Ask lots of questions and don't hesitate to seek help when you need it. It will always feel difficult at the start but after some time you will form a good routine and feel more comfortable in your role. And finally, enjoy the process. After the final exams make sure to take some time off to relax, travel and spend time doing the things you love before you start full time work. It’s important to have a balance and make sure you are keeping yourself healthy and happy!

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