I wanted to introduce myself - Vaki Nadarajah and my story. Well let me share some tidbits. First off, I was born in Mississauga, Ontario into a Sri Lankan household and am the youngest of two children. My parents found refuge in Canada (ever so grateful) during the extent of the civil war in Sri Lanka. After a couple of years, we relocated to the Chicagoland area in the United States due to my father's job. Academically, I decided to pursue a career in optometry through the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, after finishing undergrad.
Afterwards, I chose to specialize in Cornea and Specialty Contact Lenses at the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry. After gaining an immense amount of clinical experience, I discovered that I also enjoyed the academic setting. Helping not only patients but students find their path is the greatest reward "in my eyes". Thus, I wished to pursue a career as an Assistant Professor at the Chicago College of Optometry where I both teach optometry students and treat/manage patients as well. My parents both believe in higher education and wanted something better for their children. To be able to not only have the privilege to pursue that dream, but help assist other students in pursuing that dream as well, brings me the utmost satisfaction. I hope to share that experience with you on how optometry has impacted my life.
Optometry gives me life... to say the least. Overall, this profession has many paths to choose from, and the one that chose me best was being a clinical professor at MWU Eye Institute. Being specialized in cornea and a contact lens realm has allowed me to treat an array of patients from those with diseased corneas/grafts or severe dry eye to managing myopia control in young children. All of which ultimately help patients feel comfortable and see clearly - in some instances for the very first time! In addition, I am able to share that same passion with my optometry students as well. Teachers have been such a major influence in my life, I want to respect that and pay it forward to the next generation. Midwestern University had allowed me that opportunity in such a diverse environment. I have come to learn there are different cultures, different opinions, and different lives present here at the MWU Eye Institute - awaiting ready to be experienced behind every pair of contact lenses... come and get your eyes checked!
Being an optometrist also allows me the opportunity to pursue a life outside of work and thrive with to find a work-life balance that many of my fellow millennials pursue on a daily basis. The flexibility gave me a chance to express my "artsee" side and make my own website (www.vakinosh.com) which not only displays my art projects and collaborations, but also posts my blogs that reflect on important events in my life. I want to be able to bring people joy through this medium, and connect with them (no matter where they are in life) during these daunting times.
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