Dr Anish Jindal, optometrist at Moorfields

Optometrists help us all look after our eyes. They carry out eye examinations, prescribe glasses, undertake research, training and more. We’re proud to support optometry led research at Moorfields and UCL. We follow a typical day for optometrists Dr Anish Jindal and Dr Pádraig Mulholland.

What is an optometrist?

Optometrists examine eyes to detect defects in vision, signs of injury, eye diseases or abnormality. They can also identify problems with general health such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

They make a health assessment, offer clinical advice, prescribe glasses or contact lenses and refer patients for further treatment, when necessary.

Opticians are usually the sites where optometrists work within the community and where people buy spectacles and contact lenses. Optometrists were previously known as opticians.

A typical day in clinic for an optometrist

Anish is an experienced optometrist of 20 years. He splits his time between working with patients and doing research and training.

I currently work in A&E at Moorfields Eye Hospital where optometrists, nurses and ophthalmologists all work together.”

As well as prescribing glasses, I can also treat and manage ocular diseases. Many of the optometrists working at Moorfields are qualified to independently prescribe and work autonomously.”

  • In A&E, after the patient has been triaged by our nurse team, I talk to them about their history, signs and symptoms.
  • This is followed by clinical investigations which could involve photographs, swabs, ultrasound and blood samples.
  • Once I have examined the patient and interpreted the results, I form a management plan and prescribe where necessary.
  • In cases that are high risk, these are usually escalated to another specialist at Moorfields.

Dr Anish Jindal

It is incredibly satisfying to manage and treat patients whilst working in an experienced team where expertise and knowledge is being shared.

Dr Anish Jindal

Research and education

As an honorary associate professor at UCL, Anish carries out research and helps to educate clinicians.

This goes hand in hand with my other role as joint associate education director at Moorfields and UCL helping to strengthen the relationship between these two great institutions and deliver the next generation of clinicians.“
Dr Anish Jindal

We’re supporting Anish’s research monitoring glaucoma in the community. He is exploring how community-based optometrists are assessing patients at risk of glaucoma and how services could be improved.

Life in research

Pádraig Mulholland is the principal optometrist for research. He develops, supports and promotes research activity amongst optometrists within Moorfields Eye Hospital.

I am also an investigator within the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre for Ophthalmology and work with the NIHR to develop the role of optometrists to undertake research in primary care settings.“
Dr Pádraig Mulholland

Dr Pádraig Mulholland talks us through a typical day in optometry research at Moorfields and UCL.

It can vary quite a bit, but most typically consists of meetings with postgraduate research students and collaborators to discuss work undertaken and plan future projects.”

I spend quite a bit of time either preparing papers for submission and (hopefully!) eventual publication or acting as a peer reviewer for publications in areas where I have expertise.”

Dr Pádraig Mulholland

I also sit on a number of committees internal and external to Moorfields, including the NIHR National Ophthalmology Specialty Committee.”

In addition, I teach on both undergraduate and post-graduate optometry courses. This involves the delivery of lectures and clinical tutorials, clinic supervision and student assessment.”

What inspired you to become an optometrist?

I always wanted to help people and being myopic myself, I was naturally curious about eyes and wanted to learn more. Optometry was the ideal career choice!“
Dr Anish Jindal

As an optometrist we are able to have a big impact upon the quality-of-life of patients who we see in practice every day. This can be as simple as prescribing a pair of spectacles (which was my first experience of the role of an optometrist as a teenager), to managing a patient’s ocular disease or abnormality.

Dr Pádraig Mulholland

The role is ever developing with new and exciting opportunities for personal development including being involved in research. There’s a strong ethos of research activity within the profession and particularly at Moorfields and UCL.“
Dr Pádraig Mulholland

What’s the best thing about working at Moorfields and UCL?

Moorfields and UCL is a world leading partnership for clinical vision research. Given this, we have the fortune to work with world experts across all areas of both clinical ophthalmology and vision research.“
Dr Pádraig Mulholland

The ability to work within fantastic multidisciplinary teams. I am constantly learning and the Moorfields and UCL partnership means there are opportunities to keep making patient care better and better.

Dr Anish Jindal

In addition, the world-class facilities within the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and Clinical Research Facility, create a dynamic environment where research ideas can be translated into clinical impact. I feel very lucky to play a role in research at Moorfields.“
Dr Pádraig Mulholland