Like father like son
Lampros Lamprogiannis MD reflects on the effect his father had on his career choice
The relationship between father and son is thought to be a complicated one, especially when they follow the same profession. A father’s desire to guide his son into the world of his trade is often at conflict with the son’s lust to set his own path, questioning the past and being drawn to all novelties. Should mutual understanding and respect aid to resolve this inevitable conflict, a father can be a mentor like no other. This is, more or less, the story of the Lamprogiannis family of ophthalmologists.
Since my early childhood, it had become obvious to me that my father enjoyed the respect of his community. Being an ophthalmologist in a small public hospital during the first steps of the Greek National Health Service, not only did he have the opportunity to offer good quality treatment to his patients, regardless of their socioeconomic status, but he also won their hearts, with his warm, down-to-earth approach. His dedication set a paradigm for the role of a physician and led me to the decision to follow in his footsteps.
Throughout the following years, he provided his generous support and guidance, helping me to stay on my course and to eventually complete my undergraduate medical training. A milestone in our relationship was my specialty training in ophthalmology under his supervision, as he was the clinical lead of the first department of my rota. During that period, I had the opportunity to observe his work and obtain valuable lessons, not only on a clinical and surgical level but also on the management of patients and maintaining a healthy professional environment. Unfortunately, this period of our cooperation was abruptly terminated by his death; however, I consider it to have shaped my beliefs and to have deeply affected my future choices.
Hardly a day goes by that his presence is not dearly missed. It is, especially, in times of celebration for academic and professional progress that I particularly wish he was there. I find consolation in the thought that he may have foreseen a promising future for a dedicated young ophthalmologist with solid foundations. Yet, I cannot help but visualise him holding the latest issue of EuroTimes, in his favourite armchair as he often would, only to see a familiar name among the authors.
Lampros Lamprogiannis MD, MSc, FEBO
Senior Clinical Fellow in Paediatric Ophthalmology
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust