I think that my life in India, where I started my medical career, had a real influence on what I do today. For example, many people in India suffer badly from cataracts.
I remember that, early in my career, I’d travel out into rural areas, helped by volunteers in the local areas, who would also provide transport for patients and take them to and from the villages into the town where the hospitals were based.
I must admit I was deeply affected by the experience – many people couldn’t see, and cataract surgery would completely change their lives. I remember one old man hugging me because he could see his grandson for the very first time. None of these people realised what we were able to do for their vision.
So, as you can imagine, cataract surgery is still close to my heart. Together with glaucoma, red and dry eye conditions – these are the conditions I specialise in.
My next step is to become more involved with refractive work, and I’m currently in the process of completing my Masters Degree in Refractive Surgery at Sydney University.
I went to United Kingdom and completed my Fellowship in Ophthalmology in Edinburgh and then worked in London for about 5 years before venturing to Australia. I first worked in Townsville for a few years, which was a very enjoyable and educational experience.
Whilst in Townsville I went to Palm Island, working on cataracts and glaucoma, which sometimes reminded me of my early years in India. I had to bring these patients to Townsville for surgery since it could not be done in Palm Island.
Nowadays, I’m happily settled in Melbourne, where many members of my extended family live, so that makes it feel like my home from home.
I enjoy the satisfaction of cataract surgery, and the reactions of the patients. I would like to do more in this area – it’s fascinating, the technology is changing so quickly, there’s a lot to be excited about.
I’d like to continue giving back – not only do I travel every year to Fiji to help teach local doctors, I also teach at The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. I’m supervisor of the Registrars. I give regular lectures and supervision and I enjoy sharing my experience and knowledge to new graduates – it’s very rewarding.