How Dr. Jasjit Gandham started a clinic at a time that worked for her and her young family
“I knew that I wanted to step into ownership, but I couldn’t commit to a standard five-day work week because I have three beautiful babies. Work-life balance was what I needed, and Specsavers was very receptive to that.”
Q: How long have you been inspired to start your own clinic?
I love seeing patients and I love optometry, so starting my own clinic was something I always envisioned for myself. I worked at Image Optometry while I was a student at Simon Fraser University, which led me to Arbroath, Scotland where I completed my studies and started working at Specsavers. Eventually, Canada called, and I came home to join Dr. Brad Macario’s practice in Delta, BC, where I cared for my patients over the last decade.
Q: What kept you from starting your own clinic sooner?
I am a mom of three to Arya (8), Quinn (6), and Arjun (1). My husband, Robby, and I love spending time with our family. Together, we are so occupied with our family activities, sports, birthdays, and the day-to-day that keeps us busy 24/7. I absolutely love this part of my life and was happy to postpone starting a clinic because I knew that I could never give my kids 100 per cent if I opened a clinic on my own.
Q: Why did the Specsavers partnership model work for you?
Dr. Pravjit Atwal and I interviewed with Specsavers and found they shared our values as independent optometrists and had a partnership model that worked for us personally. It allowed us to expand beyond clinical ownership and participate in the success of a retail business. As an optometrist, clinical excellence and patient care are top priority to me; having Specsavers provide a foundation of support in areas that were new to me as a business owner allowed me to focus on the things that I value most as an optometrist. The second reason the partnership worked for me is because it supports my need for work-life balance. Specsavers didn’t hesitate when I approached them about sharing an optometry partnership with Dr. Atwal, so I could provide 100 per cent to every patient in my chair, as well as my family.
Q: How’s the co-partnership going?
It’s going very well! I am actively involved in steering the direction of the clinic and I admire my partners, Dr. Atwal and Stephen Ellershaw. Dr. Atwal is not only my peer but also my friend. She is an excellent clinician and combined with her positivity, drive, and resiliency, she is a strong role model for many. The partnership Dr. Atwal and I share, works well when you have a Retail Partner like Stephen Ellershaw. He is absolutely amazing. He brings a wealth of knowledge with over a decade of experience on the retail side and is very like-minded; I knew we would complement each other well. With Dr. Atwal and I as professionals in our field, and Stephen Ellershaw driving our retail business, together we are the dream team. I am proud we’re cultivating an environment which provides our patients, customers, and team members an experience of positive culture, respect, and clinical excellence.
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