The Power List 2021 – Power List
Medical Director of Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
What is your proudest professional achievement?
Delivering the Moorfields Cataract Drive last year, where we turned all our theaters over to complete 725 cataract procedures in a week. I led an amazing team who worked tirelessly to radically transform our patient pathways and convert our theater suite into a high-volume day care hospital. The initiative was a true collaboration between the hospital, industry, and voluntary organizations. The professionalism and dedication of all those involved was inspirational and I was proud to work with such a team.
Outside of ophthalmology, what makes you happy?
Spending time with my friends and family. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a real reminder of the importance of family and friends who are there to celebrate your career highs and support you through the tough times.
Why is it important to celebrate women in the field this way?
Although the proportion of women in leadership positions in healthcare has improved considerably, I am still asked by female trainees whether vitreoretinal surgery is a career suitable for women. I think it is important to demonstrate the wide range of achievements of women in the field in terms of clinical practice, research, and leadership roles. One day, I hope the balance of women and men of all ethnicities and backgrounds in leadership positions will make it such that we no longer need to showcase women in this way.
What can be done to make the field more diverse?
Those who have progressed in their careers should continue to be positive role models for both male and female trainees. I have been very fortunate to have excellent mentors, both female and male, who always encouraged me in my career. If you don’t happen to know anyone like that, there are now a number of excellent support groups who provide advice and networking opportunities. As role models, we need to talk openly and honestly about the challenges of balancing a rewarding career with making time for other aspects of our lives, and how to achieve that balance. Increasingly, this is not just an issue for women, but for all hard-working professionals.