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Handing down pearls of wisdom

Derived from the role of Mentor to Telemachus, the term mentor indicates an older, wise and benevolent adviser to a younger person. For me, this role was taken by Navid Ardjomand from Graz in Austria.

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Posted: Monday, April 1, 2019


Andreas Frings receiving the Peter Barry Fellowship from ESCRS president Beatrice Cochener-Lamard

Mentor is a figure from Greek mythology. He is the son of Alkimos from Ithaca in Homer’s Odyssey. When Odysseus sets 
off for the Trojan War, he hands over his son Telemachus and his household to Mentor, his friend and peer.
Derived from the role of Mentor to Telemachus, the term mentor indicates an older, wise and benevolent adviser to a younger person. For me, this role was taken by Navid Ardjomand from Graz in Austria.
Navid has 25 years of experience in eye surgery. He is one of the leading ophthalmic surgeons in Austria, carrying out about 1,500 surgeries per year. He is also the secretary of the Commission For Refractive Surgery of the Austrian Society of Ophthalmology.
I met Navid late into my medical studies. Unlike most other instructors, Navid was entertaining, knowledgeable and always helpful. I was, and still am, fascinated by Navid’s intellect and great knowledge, especially about refractive surgery and eye surgery in general. Navid is selfless and always interested in passing on his knowledge to make me better. I am proud that I know Navid. Without him, I would never have become an ophthalmologist.
I thought of Navid when I had the honour of being presented with the Peter Barry Fellowship at the 36th Congress of the ESCRS in Vienna, Austria. I started my Peter Barry Fellowship in August 2018 at Moorfields Eye Hospital, Refractive Surgery Service, under the supervision of Mr Bruce Allan.
My project involves the psychometric evaluation and calibration of a novel patient-reported outcome (PRO) measure for refractive surgery patients developed for use as part of the National Dataset in Refractive Surgery.
Peter Barry was among the pioneers who laid the foundation of the ESCRS and served there for more than 25 years as a board member, treasurer and president. He also had a major role in bringing ESCRS academies around the world and like Navid Ardjomand he was a mentor and friend to many young ophthalmologists.
It is our duty as ophthalmologists to hand down the pearls of wisdom that we are are given by our mentors.
Since my MD thesis in 2011, I have been focusing on issues related to cataract and refractive surgery, including topics dealing with biometry, astigmatism treatment and vector analysis, laser refractive surgery and interdisciplinary topics related to corneal biomechanics.
I am happy to serve as a supervisor of many younger colleagues and students doing their MD theses and will continue to do so in the future.


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