Something to focus on


Nick Burbery

Comments on his scholarship experience with Innovative Contact Lenses.

“For my CCLS scholarship I spent 5 days at Innovative Eyecare in Adelaide in April 2014. The days either side of this time spent in wine country just happened to be fortuitous. I had a level of frustration about the limited structured knowledge I had been able to gain on my own about custom Ortho K and scleral lens fitting, both from seminars, self-directed learning or spending time with colleagues.

Early on when I started doing Ortho K and scleral lenses I had met Lachie at an Ortho K conference in the Gold Coast. He was motivated, enthusiastic and most of all, clearly knew what he was doing. His methodical approach to tricky scleral fitting and frontier Ortho K was inspiring. Fortunately we got on well and upon meeting him again, he was kind enough to offer to show me some of what he knew if I could make it to Adelaide. The CCLS council also happened to be asking for people to apply for the Scholarship and it was not a particularly onerous exercise to do so. The scholarship of $2500 covered my airfare and 5 days of accommodation in Adelaide which made it cost neutral spending time out of practice.

In my time there I sat in on fittings and followups of both Ortho K and scleral lenses, with both Lachie and his other optometrist Alex, at his main practice in central Adelaide. There were several of these appointments daily where I got to see in action just how the finess of the structured approach to fitting was applied. In between these consults I spent the rest of my time with Kendrew, the technical guru at Innovative. This is where I learnt how to design custom Ortho K lenses using the corneal maps sent to him by optometrists in NZ and Australia. Of course this was a vertical learning curve for me all round but this form of immersion got me very confident very quickly.

Admittedly Lachie and Innovative will benefit from my improved knowledge of their products and I can therefore do a better job of using their products more independently, but it’s no small sacrifice to give ones time during busy days to teach a guy from over the ditch how to fit lenses that not many people are familiar with, and for that I am very grateful.”