Difficult choices

Young students

My career path has recently brought me into contact with ophthalmologists – a difficult word. These people are eye surgeons. Optometrists on the other hand are spectacle prescribers. Well, the glasses people do somewhat more than that but the eye surgeons do a whole lot more.
In fact, the ophthals study for fourteen years to gain their qualifications. In my book, that is incredible dedication. They do seven years to come out as a qualified medical doctor and then another seven to qualify as eye surgeons.
When you think about what our eyesight means to us, few would disagree it is almost as valuable as life itself. So, having the most competent talents possible to protect that wondrous gift makes sense.
But the point of this piece is how these medicos come to choose a career like this at such an early age.Imagine being in your late teens, fresh out of school (or still at school) and deciding you would commit to another fourteen years of tertiary study to fulfill some kind of dream to save people from blindness. It is extraordinary any way you look at it.
Mixing with these specialists, you realise they are quite exceptional people with remarkable intellects and competencies. Still, I will go to the grave still wondering how they could make such a choice at such a young age.
But I’ll be damned glad they did if I ever need someone to slice open my eye.