A Pressing Matter
Sitting down with… Keith Martin, Ringland Anderson Professor and Head of Ophthalmology, University of Melbourne; Director, Centre for Eye Research, Australia and President, World Glaucoma Association
Why did you decide to focus on ophthalmology?
I have always been a keen musician and when I was a medical student, I was lucky enough to interview Jeffrey Tate – a highly successful orchestral conductor who initially trained in medicine. I asked him what he would have done if he’d stayed in medicine and, without a moment’s hesitation, he said: ophthalmology. He talked about the balance between medicine and surgery, the precision required, and the sheer beauty of the eye as a structure. I’d had very little exposure to ophthalmology as a medical student – I was fascinated by neuroscience and thought I would become a neurologist. But that conversation really stuck in my mind. A few years later, after realizing that neurology wasn’t for me, I thought I’d try ophthalmology for six months – that was 24 years ago!
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