1. What is the most challenging aspect of being a vitreoretinal surgeon? What is the most rewarding?
I think the most challenging part of being a vitreoretinal surgeon these days is the pace of the clinic. As things have evolved over the past several years with much better treatment options for exudative agerelated macular degeneration, vein occlusions, and now diabetic macular edema, the need to see patients more frequently to deliver timely care has increased the load on the clinical side of the practice. There is a bright side to this in that we are able to help patients much more effectively than we were only a few years ago. I find it very rewarding to be able to help so many people who would have gone blind and who would not be living as independently as they are today because they can still see.
2. Have any recent studies or new technologies influenced your surgical technique?
The advent of wide-field surgical viewing systems and smaller-gauge vitrectomy instrumentation with transscleral cannulas and valves has been a significant advance in patient care. I also think that the curved, lighted laser probes are quite helpful. The newer vitrectomy systems such as the Constellation (Alcon) with its intraocular pressure control function and Alcon's new 25-gauge short instrumentation for children are also wonderful advances in technology, in my experience.
3. You specialize in pediatric as well as adult retinal diseases. Can you describe your approach to caring for this young patient population?
I very much enjoy the challenge and diversity of pediatric retinal diseases. The diseases are different in children, and surgery is much more difficult in a young child's eye than it is in an adult eye for a whole host of reasons. It is not as though a child's eye is approached simply like a smaller adult eye. The surgical goals and approaches to many pediatric problems are different to accomplish the goal of attaching the retina or managing the retinal disease. I also find it tremendously rewarding to fix a child's eye and know the benefit that he or she and the family will enjoy from it.
4. You are on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Retinal Specialists and the former president of the Long Island Ophthalmological Society. What has your experience been like holding office in professional organizations?
Being on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Retinal Specialists is an honor, and I find it very stimulating to contribute to the greater good of our profession, as the board continually navigates our specialty through ever-changing times. All members of the board donate and dedicate a tremendous amount of time, effort, and work to our specialty to continually improve every aspect of what we do and act as our proponents on every front. The Long Island Ophthalmological Society is the same type of organization with a more local focus and is also led by a very dedicated group of ophthalmologists. It focuses on issues that affect all ophthalmologists on the state level along with the New York State Ophthalmological Society.
5. If you were not an ophthalmologist, what profession would you pursue?
If I were not an ophthalmologist, I think that I would have pursued orthopedics or plastics, as they are both technical and surgical. I was interested in both of those professions as well in medical school. In a nonmedical field, I think that some sort of strategic business management position involved in intermediate and longrange planning for a business would have been interesting to me.