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CET author Q+A

“I am so proud to be involved with the MOptom programme”

Dr Liat Gantz on lightbulb moments, running research experiments, and the importance of coffee


What is your role?

I am full time associate professor at Hadassah Academic College. I am the director of the Masters of Optometry programme and teach binocular vision in the undergraduate optometry programme.

Israel is quite different in terms of the scope of practice compared with UK optometry, and one way to advance the profession is by continuing education, which is why I am so proud to be involved with the MOptom programme at the College.

What is your professional passion?

I love the expression on my students’ faces when they finally understand an abstract concept such as why a patient with exophoria reports crossed perception. One can literally imagine a lightbulb turning on in their minds.

What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?

Coffee. I have so many things to accomplish that I do not sleep much – so I live on coffee.

Somehow, I always find myself on the parents’ association for the school, heading a volunteer committee and running projects in the community, aside from tending to my kids

Dr Liat Gantz

How do you manage a work/life balance?

I think the short answer is: who said I manage?

The long answer is that when you want something done, you give it to a busy person. A busy person likes to tick items off the to-do list. A wise person once gave me great advice: “Done is perfect,” so I focus on doing.

I have four kids ranging from six up to 18. Somehow, I always find myself on the parents’ association for the school, heading a volunteer committee and running projects in the community, aside from tending to my kids.

Academia is very demanding. It is not simple to teach, check assignments and tests, update lectures, update teaching methods, update the MOptom programme, coordinate lectures and clinics and laboratories, while simultaneously running research experiments. I focus on being satisfied with my best efforts.

What do you do to unwind?

Zumba, at least four times a week.

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

I would pay off my mortgage, take care of my kids’ future, and donate to charity. And I would totally treat myself to a daily house cleaner and personal chef.

Did you have holiday plans in 2020?

We were supposed to go away with the extended family to Austria in August. We even met a few times to plan the trip. We had the lodging booked, and the first days planned. When the pandemic hit, we realised that we needed to cancel. We tried to compensate with many hiking day-trips – to the point that one my kids asked: “Why do you keep doing things with us?”

We do not have any major holiday planned in 2021. In Israel we are not sure when the next lockdown will be, so we are fearful to book a hotel, but we are going to visit a farm and assist the farmer with crop-picking, and are going to do a virtual escape room with our kids.

About the author

Dr Liat Gantz is a senior lecturer and director of the MOptom programme at the Department of Optometry and Vision Science, Hadassah Academic College, Jerusalem, Israel.