Meet Dr. Marie-Pierre Gratton, optometrist and owner of the IRIS store in Ste-Rose. Entrepreneur, mother of two boys and marathon runner, Marie-Pierre is a woman who strives for accomplishment, self-improvement and balance between her professional life, her family life and her passion for sports. Always looking for new challenges, Marie-Pierre tells us about her career path since graduating and why she chose IRIS.

Dr. Gratton, how many years have you been an optometrist? What is your educational and professional background that brought you to IRIS?

I've worked at IRIS since 2003. I graduated from optometry school in 2007 and have owned the IRIS store in Ste-Rose since 2016. Being an avid sports lover, I decided to study kinesiology at university after college. During my kinesiology studies, I took vision and eye movement classes. That's when I realized anything to do with the visual system interested me. After my bachelor's degree in kinesiology, I applied to the School of Optometry at the Université de Montréal.  While in school, I worked in a clinic from a different banner but felt out of place. I then applied at the IRIS clinic near my home in Ste-Rose, where I'm now an owner.

What makes you most proud to be an IRIS owner?

I'm proud to work at IRIS because it's a constantly innovating company. I've always found it important that IRIS prioritizes customer service and the quality of its products. What's more, IRIS takes the well-being of its employees to heart. 

During my optometry studies, I had one goal: to own a clinic with my friend Marlène. And today, Dr. Marlène Cléroux and I are co-owners of the IRIS store in Ste-Rose. I'm really proud to have realized this dream with IRIS. 

As an IRIS owner, do you and your associates have the opportunity to share your ideas and comments and express your needs?

Absolutely! With Marlène Cléroux and manager Nathalie Cyr, who is also an owner, we hold regular internal meetings to discuss new projects, equipment to be purchased, or new procedures to be put in place. We share our discussions with our Regional Manager, who is always there to help us and liaises with senior management to ensure we have what we need to carry out our projects. 

As an accomplished marathon runner, how does IRIS enable you to realize your personal projects? 

Being an owner at IRIS allows me to work 4 days a week. So, when I have long training sessions, I can modulate my schedule for my training. Also, at IRIS, we encourage physical activity in many ways, so seeing my IRIS colleagues across Canada training simultaneously helps me go further. 

How has IRIS raised the profile of optometrists and opticians in your community and the industry?

IRIS always provides us with impressive technological tools such as the electronic medical record, i.Mesure and now artificial intelligence for early detection of fundus diseases with IRIS-ai, which makes IRIS a pioneer in the field. One of the great keys to success at IRIS is that optometrists and opticians work together with the same mission and vision.

What animal would you choose if you had to transform yourself into an animal for the rest of your life?

A leopard, because it runs fast and long and lives in warm countries.