DR SAMANTHA SIMKIN
PHD l BOPTOM (FIRST CLASS HONS) l TPA
Dr Samantha Simkin is a therapeutically qualified Optometrist, specialising in paediatric (children’s) eye care.
Samantha holds a Bachelor of Optometry (First Class Honours) from The University of Auckland, during which she received multiple awards including two research scholarships which focused on how to test children’s vision accurately. This started a passion for pursuing improvements in children’s eye care through both clinical care and research. She was offered the opportunity to complete her PhD doctoral studies with a full scholarship. Her doctoral studies were supervised by the incredible team of Professor Charles McGhee, Dr Shuan Dai, and Dr Stuti Misra. They explored established and potential newborn ocular screening programmes with the goal of improving detection of congenital ocular abnormalities resulting in timely management, treatment, and thus improved visual outcomes. These improvements do not just impact on the child’s vision butalso on their educational, social and general development.
Samantha loves the individual care that can be offered in clinical practice. From the joy of helping a child into their first pair of glasses or contact lenses, to the lifelong and family wide care she can offer. However, she also strives to improve eye care for all children, through her work as a research fellow at the University of Auckland. Herresearch completed as part of her doctorate led to numerous opportunities including presenting at over 15 national and international conferences; being an invited speaker both overseas and in New Zealand, publishing multiple scientific journal articles, including an auspicious first publication in The Lancet, and winning the best Doctoral Presentation Award for the University of Auckland School of Medicine.
Samantha is the current Stevenson Research Fellow at the University of Auckland Department of Ophthalmology where she continues her work in newborn ocular screening. In addition, she is researching myopia control as part of the New Zealand Myopia Action Group, contact lens correction in albinism, causes of paediatric visual impairment, and keratoconus in individuals with Down syndrome.
Samantha also uses her clinical skills as the optometrist for the Blind and Low Vision Education Network New Zealand (BLENNZ) National Assessment Team. The BLENNZ National Assessment Team supports all children across New Zealand who are low vision or blind helping them to access their educational curriculum.
Samantha describes paediatric optometry as her passion and she holds the belief that there is always more we can do and more people we can help. Samantha would love the opportunity to work with you, your child, or your family to improve your visual function, get you the best optical correction, or discuss how she could slow the progression of your child’s myopia.