1. Since you first entered practice, what retina surgical
technique has had the biggest impact on visual
The introduction of wide-angle viewing systems has improved the surgeon's ability to examine and operate on the peripheral retina. This has directly translated into an improved success rate for vitrectomy in retinal detachment. Internal audits in my own department have suggested that this innovation alone is responsible for almost a 10% increase in primary success rate.
2. What important points of advice
you can offer regarding how to be
an effective presenter at clinical
Most scientific programs are packed with information, much more than can be absorbed by a single delegate. Therefore, make sure that your presentation has only a few major points (preferably just one), and make those points clearly and concisely.
Slides should be an aid to your talk, not an alternative to it. Therefore, if you have a bullet list, do not also read the slides to the audience. Avoid complicated slides, and remember that the only person responsible for them is you, so do not include a busy slide and then apologize for it. Just omit it.
Learn to use the presentation software. For example, if you are including videos, ensure they play automatically when you advance to the slide containing them. The audience does not want to watch you maneuver the mouse over the video and click it to make it work. If you want time for preamble, then add another slide before it.
Finally, the audience wants to be educated, but they also want to be entertained. People are much more likely to remember the content from a presentation if they enjoyed it.
3. How do you anticipate the joint Euretina and
European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons Congress in September will enrich attendees'
I think delegates will find many advantages to the joint meeting, not least of which is the convenience of covering retina and cataract and refractive surgery at one location. There are two major joint symposia, one on endophthalmitis and the other on myopia. These symposia will focus attention on the interface between our subspecialties. Lastly, the location and size of the meeting should ensure a unique educational and networking experience for all attendees.
4. What advice would you give to colleagues
trying to balance multiple professional
activities, such as teaching,
publishing, and holding a board position
with an ophthalmic society?
There are only 24 hours in a day, so if you find that you have taken on too many commitments (a common problem) the only way to cope is to maximize your efficiency. Modern information technology has given us the means to do this, and a laptop computer is the single most useful device for helping with a workload. Essential qualities include the ability to carry a compact and searchable filing system with you as well as the ability to do useful work during those small intervals throughout the day (between surgical cases, waiting for flights or trains, etc.) that are otherwise wasted. Ensure that quality does not suffer in your efforts to juggle tasks. Finally, learn to say no!
5. What have you not yet done that you would like to
accomplish in the future?
I would like to see much better use of information technology in ophthalmology, which, like other specialties in medicine, is still largely paper-based. Effective informatics would allow more efficient and safer patient care, and ease research and study of outcomes. I am working on a project that will help toward this goal, so please watch this space.