Laura M. Periman
The Power List 2021 – Power List
Founder and Director of Dry Eye Services and Clinical Research at the Periman Eye Institute, Seattle, Washington, USA
Outside of ophthalmology, what makes you happy?
I enjoy creative pursuits; I’m a published poet and I enjoy creating art. The poetry allows me to process observations and feelings. Often, the words pour out of nowhere and I have to stop everything and write it down. I love acrylic painting because the dry time is fast, so you have to work fast. This creates a truly immersive, intense creative experience for me where even my sense of time is suspended. I find it truly relaxing.
What is your proudest professional achievement?
When I reflect back on my proudest professional achievements, it all comes down to digging deep for the courage to face my fears and do it anyway. It’s easy to talk yourself out of taking risks, out of being vulnerable, out of asking a “silly question.” When I focus on the inner drive and the source of my joy as a clinician, scientist, and educator, I find the strength to forge ahead and keep growing. Ultimately, my proudest professional achievement is based on learning to trust that the hard-won rewards of growth will be greater than the false protections of fears.
What can be done to make the field more diverse?
I think we are fortunate in ophthalmology to be in a specialty that is equity driven. I love mentorship programs with our young colleagues because I get to see how our incredible next generation of leaders values and celebrates diversity and equity.