Haris Mirza Is Your Future ‘Baby Eye Doctor’

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Haris Mirza is a first-generation Pakistani-American who is a second-year optometry student at the Western University of Health Sciences. Born and raised in California, Mirza’s love for the field has been growing over the years and was only fueled during his undergraduate studies when he took cognitive psychology and philosophy classes and started to view our ability to see differently.

“Optometry has been a fundamental part of my life for over one decade. It became evident to me that vision plays a vital role not only in how we see the world, but also how we perceive it,” Mirza stated. “I found that there was a place for optometry in a way I had not seen before, in so many different fields of study. It was then I became hooked.”

Mirza decided to focus on pediatric optometry not only because children require a different approach and extra attention from their doctors, but also because he noticed there was a deficit in treatment for children with special needs. He stated, “I am specifically interested in pediatrics because children are uniquely different than other ages, so, accordingly, they require differences in treatment to give them proper care. I have found there is a deficit, especially with children with special needs. The treatment children receive could have lifelong impact, and I want to be part of such a positive influence. Plus, kids are just so darn cute, and I enjoy working with them.”

In August of last year, right before his second year of school and soon after the birth of his son, Nicolas, Mirza decided to tackle the world of social media and he created his Instagram page, Baby Eye Doctor. The colorful page is a hub for educational content concerning eye diseases, awareness and fun facts.

  

Though the page contains a lot of educational material, Mirza’s content is delivered in a way that caters to the way we consume information on social media. His pictures are always formatted using some kind of bright color, while his captions deliver his message in bite-sized, easy to read and understand paragraphs. “Academic experiences and my personal life play a crucial role in the content I choose,” he explained. “If I learned something from a lecture, I pick what part will be most relevant to others and decide how to translate it from medical terminology to digestible terms.”


Of course, all of this is done on purpose because Mirza understands that the internet can be a whirlpool of knowledge and doesn’t want his followers to feel as though they are being bombarded with the same old information over and over again. “There is so much valuable and fascinating information about vision that I wanted to convey to others. I wanted to do this in a way that could be informative, relevant and easily comprehensible to the general public in a creative way.”


Because he is also a new dad, Mirza has featured pictures of his adorable son on his page and sometimes uses those posts as opportunities to tell his audiences about children’s vision as well. “I am a relatively new parent to my one-year-old and he is such a big part of my life. I am constantly thinking about how certain experiences for my him, such as when we visited Disneyland, impact his vision development. I want to share his vision development with others, especially parents, in a relatable way.”

Though he did not create Baby Eye Doctor with a specific target audience in mind, he has noticed that his content appeals mostly to other optometry professionals, medical professionals, and parents. In the year that the page has been up, Baby Eye Doctor has already garnered close to 1,000 followers, currently standing at 951. Of course, keeping the page updated, being a full-time student, new parent and husband can be a bit hard to juggle, so Mirza prioritizes and posts to the page when time permits and more frequently during school breaks.


While his course work is still no different from other optometry students because he is still in his second year, Mirza is looking forward to growing the page more as he starts specializing in pediatrics next year and gets to do rotations in locations that specialize in pediatrics. In the meantime, however, he already sees the impact Baby Eye Doctor has, not only for his followers, but in creating opportunities for himself as well.

“Instagram creates opportunities to have connections and discourse with information and people I otherwise would never have encountered,” he told VMail Weekend. “For instance, I have had pre-optometry students from an array of foreign countries reach out to me to ask my advice about optometry school in the U.S. I myself have been able to connect with ophthalmologists who have distinct specialties that could potentially help my future patients.”