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“See one, do one, teach one”

Meet optometrist and practice owner, Professor Simon Barnard, OT ’s latest CET author, who talks about learning new techniques, innovative ways of learning and teaching others

12 Sep 2019 by Dr Ian Beasley BSc (Hons), DOptom, MCOptom

What is your professional passion?

“See one, do one, teach one.” I get pleasure from when I learn about a new clinical technique, try it out or integrate it into practice myself and then pass on my knowledge through a lecture or workshop. An example is when the late David Austin brought back a video and some punctum plugs from the US. Professor Bruce Evans volunteered to be a subject and within a few weeks it was included in the syllabus at City, University of London.

What are you most proud of?

Attending an intensive therapeutics course at Pennyslvania College of Optometry in 1995 with Andrew Field and Nigel Burnett-Hodd, taking the exams, and bringing it back and integrating it into the syllabus of City’s Master’s degree programme. Then, as director of ocular medicine at the Institute of Optometry, developing the first GOC-registered therapeutics course in the UK with Dr Deacon Harle.

Simon Barnard
Professor Simon Barnard

What is your next career goal?

I am not retiring quite yet and I would like to continue to be a ‘first adopter’ with my practice partner, Dr Alex Levit, of new clinical technology. It is one of the most exciting ways to learn.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Be passionate about optometry and strive to develop and expand your clinical scope, but temper your enthusiasm with a touch of pragmatism and please learn some diplomacy skills.

What do you do to unwind?

Unless I am on vacation, it can take me a few days to unwind, but the process is best facilitated by a large, very dry, Vespa Martini.

“Be passionate about optometry and strive to develop and expand your clinical scope”

How do you manage a work/life balance?

I still haven’t got it right.

You have won the OT lottery. What are the first three things you would do with the £1m jackpot?

Pay off my children’s student loans and reduce our mortgage with what little would be left, but leaving aside enough to take another significant family holiday – India is top of the list.

Do you have your next holiday booked?

Tel Aviv – it is my favourite city outside of the UK.


Image credit: Getty/Xantana

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