Women in Vision: Dr. Kirsten North

Have you met our team? If you’ve lingered on our “About” page, you would have met our fab staff, but beyond their bios, our doctors and team members boast some amazing experience – and we want to share it with you!

Dr. Kirsten North is currently one of the clinic’s owners, after joining the practice in 1992. Since starting in her profession, Dr. North has become a leading female voice within the optometry and vision science field. Almost immediately after starting as an eye doctor, she became an independent business owner, an advocate of the profession through her work with the Ottawa Society of Optometrists, the Ontario Association of Optometrists, and later a leader on a national scale when she became the President of the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) in 2009. She currently consults with the CAO, and sits on the Board of Directors for both the Vision Institute of Canada and Zonta Club of Ottawa – extending the scope of her talents to advance the status of women.

For those of us not in the optometry sphere, Dr. North’s expert advice can be heard on the airwaves of CTV Ottawa Morning Live and in print via Chatelaine and Canadian Living Magazines.

Can you believe this is the woman who checks your eyes on the regular? We’re still not sure when she sleeps, but Dr. North somehow manages to keep pushing her knowledge – she is currently pursuing fellowship certification with the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, giving optimal care to her patients, casting a wider entrepreneurial net with her newest venture Ottawa Vision Therapy, and raising two beautiful daughters.

An impressive list of accolades aside, Dr.North is a testament to the success of hard work and passion. Since grade 7, she knew she wanted to be an optometrist. Despite being told that girls aren’t good at math (boo), and that she should have a backup plan in case of rejection to Optometry School (what?), she effortlessly quelled detractors by being accepted on her first admission attempt. (We love a good girl power moment!)

As with all successes, challenges are often not far behind. Dr. North admits that work/life balance is the toughest part of her job because she loves her work as well as her family time. As a business owner, her sense of responsibility is two-fold.

But it’s the sense of responsibility and leadership that makes us proud to have her on our team! Being a female leader in the optometry community, following in the footsteps of strong female role models, providing jobs to talented individuals for over 20 years as a business owner, and especially fostering strong, lasting relationships with patients – these are the achievements that keep her coming into the office in the morning – and we’re so glad she does!

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