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Dr. Leekha Voted President… of BC Doctors of Optometry!

Dr. Gurpreet Leekha voted president of BCAO!
Dr. Gurpreet Leekha voted president of BCAO!

Last month our own optometrist Dr. Gurpreet Leekha was voted president of BC Doctors of Optometry! BCAO is an association that advocates for better eye health for all British Columbians.

Here’s a recent interview we did with Dr. Leekha:

Eye Etiquette: You studied optometry in New York – is that where you were born and raised too?

Gurpreet Leekha: I was born in Vancouver and raised in Coquitlam. I chose NYC for optometry studies because my brother got a job on Wall St in the same year, and we thought it would be cool to live there together!

EE: What made you want to become an optometrist?

GL: I always put this back to two memories:
1. My cousin was an optometrist and I admired him, so his encouragement played a large role
2. I had a babysitter with lazy eye, and he used to play tricks with it so I always thought “weird” eyes were cool!

EE: How long have you been an optometrist for?

GL: For 14 years now.

EE: What will your new duties at BCAO be?

GL: As President my job is to find consensus among all initiatives the Board of Directors deals with on a day to day basis. The Board was elected to represent the interests of optometry in BC, so that’s our focus.

EE: What are your goals with BCAO?

GL: I see my role as pushing my colleagues and profession to practice to the full scope of their abilities, thereby serving our patients as best as we can and meeting their needs.

EE: What is the most common misconception about eye health in your experience?

GL: That routine eye exams are not required. Most people who value their vision as their #1 sense, which they would never want to lose, don’t get their eyes checked on a regular basis. This of course raises the risk that glaucoma and other asymptomatic diseases get missed until it’s too late.

EE: What is the most exciting new discovery/technology in optometry in your opinion?

GL: Most recently the public heard about my colleague Garth Webb’s invention of the ‘bionic lens‘, so that’s attracting tonnes of attention, but I know it could take years for animal and then human testing and even then it may not make it to market. So the real advancement is the OCT scan (ocular coherence tomography), and in-office test that can provide an instant diagnosis of eye health problems. These used to require a few weeks or months for a referral, now we can diagnose and manage on the same day. Huge game-changer.

EE: What’s your favourite food?

GL: Favorite guilty pleasure: spicy chicken Jamaican patties! I used to love them from a Jamaican chain in NYC called Golden Krust, but now surprisingly I think 7-Eleven carries them!

EE: You’re well traveled! Where’s your favourite travel destination?

GL: I love Mexico – amazing food, culture, language, and people. Although I’ve had more amazing experiences volunteering there on eye care charity missions than on beach vacations. I’d highly recommend volunteering on a charity health mission to everyone; it’s a life-changing experience!

Thanks for the interview Dr. Leekha! Schedule your eye exam appointment online with Dr. Leekha at Millstream Village in Langford, Victoria!

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