Workplace Guide: Reflections on a fulfilling career

Optometrist Richard Poynter worked in optics for more than 40 years

‘I have always been fascinated by optics. As a child I would make up telescopes from old lenses and measure my myopia by finding the furthest point of focus,’ says Richard Poynter. Without high enough grades to study optometry at university, Poynter joined Dollond and Aitchison (D&A) as a trainee and qualified as a dispensing optician in 1979.

While managing the former multiple’s Northampton branch and developing his contact lens fitting skills, Poynter set his sights on optometry again. ‘I realised I was only doing part of the job and I wanted to do all of it,’ he says.

Pointer studied optometry at Aston University in 1982 and passed his professional exams in 1986, before rejoining D&A as a managing optometrist. Within three years, he was promoted to regional director with responsibility for staff training, including writing the optometry part of the optical assistants course.

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