What do you do on a typical working day?
I work in a private clinic in Kecskemét, which is a Hungarian city about 50 miles from Budapest. I work eight hours, Monday to Friday. I am a clinical optometry lead, and my job role includes paediatric and elderly primary eye care, neuro-optometry and clinical contact lens fitting, ocular surgery pre and after care, pre-registration supervisor. I am also locally responsible for the eye care referred to the hospital.
Which aspect of your current role inspires you the most?
In my job, assessing children and elderly patients inspire me the most. I have spent five years writing a book on the eye care of old people. This book is due to be published this year in the United States in cooperation with Dr Marc Taub, the editor of Optometry and Visual Performance.
Where do you see the direction of optometry heading in the next five years?
In recent years I have worked in Italy and in the UK, and I have to say that optometry as a career is becoming more and more important. While we are seeing clinical cases that unfortunately are seriously affecting the health of the eye, it is motivating for eye care specialists to improve their knowledge to the highest level possible.
Who has been most influential in steering your career path?
I need to say thanks to my parents for supporting my studies, and my Professors at the University in Rome, Luigi Lupelli and Valerio Cavalli, who inspired me in this challenging but also interesting professional career. And my wife Andy encourages me to write the book and professional articles.
What do you regard as being the most influential development to impact upon the clinical role of practitioners in recent years?
My opinion is that, nowadays, the job is very business-oriented. I personally think we should place more of our attention on the patient’s visual needs. Spending time with the patients and listen carefully to understand their symptoms is very important; the clinical practice should ensure more time for the practitioners to evaluate the patient’s visual needs.
If you had the power to change any aspect of the current remit of optometrists what would it be?
I think for pre-reg optometrists today there is a need for more clinical practice in the eye departments to experience as many different clinical cases as possible. This way, by the time they become an optometrist they would be confident enough to deal with challenging cases.