The Power List 2019 – Champions of Change
Director of Telemedicine and Consultant Ophthalmologist in Medical Retina and Cataract Surgery at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK.
What is the best part of being an ophthalmologist?
The variety of my work, both in my daily routine and in the people I meet. On a single day, I can be training residents in cataract surgery in the morning, meeting with clever data scientists in the afternoon and speaking to patient groups in the evening. On another, it will be seeing patients who have become almost as familiar as family in an intravitreal injection clinic, to giving a talk on a different continent to eye health professionals both passionate about their field and hungry for knowledge. It is also a real privilege to work at an institution like Moorfields that attracts fellows from around the world. Our time together has given me great insight into different cultures and allowed the cultivation of many lasting friendships and collaborations. It’s the best job in the world.
What has been the pivotal moment of your career?
The three years I spent doing my PhD research with Marcus Fruttiger, Adnan Tufail and Catherine Egan. These mentors not only taught me how to be a clinician scientist, with simple things like critical reading of a research paper or even pipetting as well as a robot, but this was where I learnt how to dream, to inspire and to be kind.
Who are your ophthalmic heroes?
My ophthalmic heroes have always been the many experienced ophthalmic nurses I've worked with. I was always in awe of the extent of their knowledge and intuition towards both doctors and patients. One example is Carmel King, a recently retired Matron with over 30 years at Moorfields. She was a good example of someone whom you went to it there was any trouble and was never afraid to put even the most formidable surgeon in their place. I’ve always looked towards women in ophthalmology for inspiration, in particular, how they have managed to achieve the magical combination of joy in their career and their family. Anat Lowenstein was one such mentor with her passion for surgery and education. Geeta Menon is another brave, productive ophthalmologist with an excellent track record in clinical trials and humanitarian work. Lastly, Michele Beaconsfield, a brilliant oculoplastics and orbit surgeon, for her strength, candor, and humour.
Any advice for those following in your footsteps?
Search for your definition of success early. Be flexible but firm in its pursuit, whilst being mindful of those around you.