The Power List 2020 – Power List
Director and Chairman, University Eye Hospital, Bochum, Germany
Your three wishes?
Health is always on top of everybody’s list. It is even more so this year: health for my loved ones, my colleagues, our patients. I also wish to have more time for education: ophthalmology is undergoing such phenomenal progress that I would love to share all these developments with my colleagues more closely. Finally: continued motivation for ophthalmology - it is the most fascinating field of medicine and science but bureaucracy, paper work and legal entanglements sometimes take some joy out of the job.
Piece of advice for your younger self?
Always be patient and never give up, stick firmly to your own goals and pursue them with the confidence that you can achieve in life whatever you dream of!
The most serendipitous moment of your career?
We were doing a corneal excimer laser ablation to correct myopia in – of all people – a female lawyer of international reputation. Right in the middle of the procedure, the laser suddenly ceased to work. When we finally could start the laser again, the software identified the procedure as “done” while actually it was interrupted somewhere in the middle of it. With some guesswork and a lot of courage – and a streak of good luck – we continued and finished the treatment. It turned out to be – refraction-wise – right on the spot: target refraction was achieved by the equivalent of flying blind! The patient was extremely happy. And we, to quote the famous conversation between NASA and Neil Armstrong the moment after the moon landing, were a bunch of guys who had turned blue and were finally breathing again.
The most unexpected turn your career took?
Becoming an experienced high-volume vitreoretinal surgeon after years of performing high-volume of cataract and refractive surgery.