OPTOMETRIST l B. OPTOM (HONS) I TPA
Carmen completed her Bachelor of Optometry degree with First Class Honours from The University of Auckland. Carmen is a therapeutically qualified optometrist with a special interest in dry eye disease, contact lens fitting, myopia control and general optometry. Carmen is able to communicate in English and Mandarin, as well as basic Cantonese.
Carmen was raised in East Auckland and was the head girl of Pakuranga College in her final year. During this time, Carmen began to explore various career options where she was given the rare opportunity to shadow a community optometrist for a day. After witnessing first hand the incredible impact that an optometrist can make to one’s vision and lifestyle, Carmen was absolutely fascinated. With a blend of clinical healthcare, science and innovative technology, Optometry seemed like the perfect combination for Carmen’s interests. Carmen was privileged to be a recipient of The University of Auckland Top Achiever’s Scholarship, and began her Optometry studies shortly after completing her first year of biomedical science at the University of Auckland.
Whilst studying, Carmen was awarded a research scholarship by The Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at University of Auckland to complete a project in assessing the drug penetration and delivery of non-aqueous eye-drop vehicles. This was completed under the supervision of Associate Professor Ilva Rupenthal and Dr Priyanka Agarwal. The year after, Carmen was awarded a summer scholarship by the Buchanan Ocular Therapeutics Unit to investigate the efficacy of tear collection techniques to evaluate tear film inflammatory markers in dry eye disease patients. In this project, Carmen had the honour of being supervised by Professor Jennifer Craig who is globally renowned for her research in dry eye disease. This further sparked Carmen’s interest in dry eye disease, which has become such a prominent issue in both the young and elderly alike.
During her time at University, Carmen was also heavily involved in The Women in Health Network (WiHN). She was part of the executive team as the Optometry Specialty Lead of this non-profit organisation. In her involvement with WiHN, Carmen was able to work alongside an inspiring team of wāhine to facilitate a comprehensive mentoring programme for the next generation of optometrists and health professionals. Collectively, they also worked together to organise a variety of events with topics rooted in health, women and leadership, to raise awareness and address important issues such as health inequities and Māori health.
Outside of Optometry, Carmen is passionate about volunteering, both for the local and international communities. Carmen had the life-changing opportunity to go to Turkey and serve the Syrian refugees before the first lockdown, which was an immensely rewarding experience. Carmen has also volunteered for the Essilor Foundation to perform vision screening for primary school children in low decile schools. Carmen is currently volunteering as a pianist in her local church and is involved in both children and young adult’s ministry, which she thoroughly enjoys.
Carmen is very excited to join the industry leading team at Mortimer Hirst and feels very privileged to work alongside such a skilled and reputable team of clinicians. Providing a high standard of care and delivering exceptional service is of utmost importance to Carmen, where she will endeavour to suit all personalised needs in an empathetic yet professional manner.