Based in the belief that diverse leadership results in better outcomes – for practices, organizations and the industry as a whole – Ophthalmic World Leaders (OWL) works across ophthalmology to provide professional and personal development and opportunities for collaboration. In this blog, OWL members share insights on building the skill sets and confidence required of today’s ophthalmic leaders.

BLOG: 2016 OWL award winners, part 2: What makes a rising star

What does it mean to receive the OWL 2016 Rising Star Award? What advice would you give other young ophthalmologists and industry leaders about moving the ophthalmic community forward?

It is an honor to have received the Rising Star Award from OWL. It is so important for the next generation of bright, young ophthalmologists to strive to become thought leaders in this industry. Our field can only advance as fresh ideas come in from diverse backgrounds. This is how we advance and push industry and innovation to the next level and ultimately improve eye care technology for our patients. By staying educated, active and involved in the industry and ophthalmic community, young ophthalmologists will provide the energy to continue driving the engine of innovation, sparking good ideas and building collaboration.

What specific steps would you advise young ophthalmologists to take to fully engage with the ophthalmic community?

Young ophthalmologists need to put themselves out there in opportunities where they can network with industry and medical colleagues. This means building up the courage to meet and interact with new people, asking for the opportunity to step up to the podium and taking risks. It is impossible to make an impact from behind the closed doors of our office. Only by stepping up, reaching out to introduce yourself and showing people your passion can you become a thought leader and work toward growing the field of ophthalmology.


What single factor has impacted your personal journey to professional development the most?

Mentorship can be an amazing catalyst for driving professional development. I had the privilege and honor to have Dr. Roger Steinert as my mentor. His example and his passion for innovation really lit a fire for me to achieve excellence in my field. Find a mentor that you can connect with and admire; it can be a strong driving force for your own professional development.

For more information about OWL, please visit: https://www.owlsite.org/.

Marjan Farid, MD, is professor of ophthalmology at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center. Farid was the winner of the OWL 2016 Rising Star Award. She can be reached at email: mfarid@uci.edu.