The Power List 2019 – Mentors
Professor of Ophthalmology, Queen’s University, Belfast. | Honorary Consultant Ophthalmic and Vitreoretinal Surgeon, The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.
Who have been your mentors?
I have had many over the years, my first one being my father, who, although not a medical doctor but a professor in law, inspired me to pursue always excellence in my work.
During my specialised training in posterior segment diseases, I was a clinical fellow in Ocular Oncology at Wills Eye Hospital and my mentors there were Jerry and Carol Shields. I did a Medical Retina fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital with Alan Bird, followed with a Vitreoretinal fellowship at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital with David Wong.
What was the luckiest break of your career?
Being able to undertake specialized training with such outstanding figures in the field of ophthalmology. I am, and I will always be, extremely grateful to them for giving me such a great opportunity, and for sharing their knowledge, experience and expertise with me.
What would be a piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?
The same advice I gave myself at that time: “Train as best as you can and work as hard as you can – having solid basis and clear concepts is essential, medically and surgically, to build yourself as a good professional.” But learning, of course, never ends.
What’s the best part of being an ophthalmologist?
Being able to, by restoring sight, improve the quality of life of my patients.