Dr. Bruni reflects on her first decade in optometry

 

By David Goldberg

 

Dr. Krista Bruni is the lead optometrist at FYiDoctors in Sudbury.

She’s super passionate about her job, but she didn’t always want to be an optometrist.

Her first love was looking after animals.

“I had originally wanted to be a veterinarian and completed the majority of my undergraduate studies intending to apply to vet school,” Bruni says.

However, there was another calling in the field of medicine that she discovered later on. 

“After shadowing a local optometrist before my fourth year of undergraduate, my focus shifted towards optometry and I haven’t looked back.”

Bruni graduated from the Michigan College of Optometry 11 years ago and she’s enjoyed every minute since.

“Optometry has allowed me to make a positive impact within my community. I can meet and help a variety of different patients with different histories, visual needs and demands. No day is ever the same.”

She also points to the work-life balance that optometry offers, saying that the job has made it easier to raise a family, even during a pandemic.

Of all the patients she’s helped through the years, one woman, in particular, stands out for Bruni.

“I had a patient with fast progressing bilateral dry AMD. I was seeing her frequently and every time she came in, her visual acuity was one line less and approaching no longer meeting driving standards with Ontario.”

Several difficult discussions took place, says Bruni, about how one day the woman would have to give up her driver’s licence.

“She had written me a letter thanking me for helping her manage and prepare for the day. She told me that she had sold her car and included a picture of her new running shoes that would be her mode of transportation. She thanked me for always being open and honest with her.”

Bruni also cares deeply about helping patients diagnosed with retinal disease and walking them through the next steps as well as possible outcomes of their condition.

The other type of patient Bruni loves to help are the younger ones.

“I love being able to give children their first eye exam. These patients are always the highlight of my day.”

If there’s one piece of advice Bruni can offer to the next generation of optometrists, it’s to be agile and adaptable.

“As medical professionals, the knowledge is always changing and how we care for patients changes with that. There are so many opportunities within optometry to continue to grow and learn as a practitioner, whether it’s in private practice, corporate practice, research or teaching.”

Bruni also says it’s important to harness the power of your network and it never hurts to lean on colleagues for support, especially these days, as optometrists fight for more government support to help patients in need.
“These past two years have brought members together as we fight for equality in our healthcare system.”