Dr. Myrna Lichter MD
Dr. Lichter is a graduate of the University of Manitoba with an MD and BSc Med. She subsequently completed her ophthalmology residency at the University of Toronto and feels lucky to have done so. After residency, she completed a fellowship at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology under the supervision of Dr. Lorenz Zimmerman and Dr. Ian Maclean. Upon returning to Toronto, she started a comprehensive ophthalmology practice, and joined as an Outdoor Attending at Saint Michael’s Hospital. In 2000, after being asked if she wanted to do an HIV screening clinic, she started her clinic which would later become a general practice. Dr. Lichter currently sits on an EDI committee and is an Executive of Canadian Association for Public Health and Global Ophthalmology at COS.
Dr. Lichter is passionate about giving back to those experiencing homelessness. In 2010, she received an Innovation Grant to deliver eye care to people who were homeless or marginally housed. Her first paper, published in JAMA, highlighted that the incidence of visual problems was about 25% within this group; six times the national average. From here, she went on to study homeless youth and families living in shelters with Dr. Nasrin Tehrani. Upon receiving a generous grant, that allowed her to purchase more sophisticated equipment and an assistant, she was now prepared to offer glasses to homeless patients. She has published 16 papers related to this topic and remained committed to this minority group during COVID, setting up tents in Moss Park to deliver patient care through examinations.
Dr. Lichter is invested in supporting the Indigenous homeless population. She is currently working on an exciting project in collaboration with Sick Children’s Hospital and Native Child and Family Services, to further the mission of conducting vision screening for Indigenous children, so every child can receive proper eye care.
Her goal for the future is to establish a sustainable centre for vision testing for homeless patients, and long term follow up. She also has an interest in remote vision testing, and the use of smartphone technologies.
She is passionate about teaching and learning from her students and who have been integral to each part of her journey. She feels honored to work with them and feels she learns just as much from them as they do from her.