“I think what we are doing now will benefit thousands of children”
Mitchel Reuben on providing a complete eye care service to a “part of the community that needs it the most”
14 May 2021
Tell us about your role…I work two days at Moorfields Eye Hospital and three days at SeeAbility, plus the occasional day at Great Ormond Street Hospital during the school holidays. The majority of the time I am dispensing to children, and most of them have additional needs. One of my days for Moorfields is at an outreach clinic in a children’s development centre; I have been part of this clinic for over 12 years. My SeeAbility work takes me to various schools, so some weeks I’m not in the same place twice. I love this element and, wherever I visit, I am treated really nicely and feel valued.
What is your professional passion?
What are you most proud of?I’m proud of what I’m doing now; I guess if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t carry on. I think, however, a singular moment was when I got my pre-reg position at Moorfields. This was a big step for me as I started in optics fairly late in life. I came from a very different background, and I was, until that point, a London black cabbie. One sadness was that my dad died a few weeks before I received my Moorfields’ acceptance letter.
I never set goals; I just want to be happy in my work. I need to work with kind people, and I’m very lucky on that front
What is your next career goal?I never set goals; I just want to be happy in my work. I need to work with kind people, and I’m very lucky on that front.
How do you manage a work/life balance?I don’t do this consciously; I accept that some periods are harder than others. Only working in term time really helps. If the job gets a little intense, there is always a school break in the not-too-distant future.
What do you do to unwind?I walk my two dogs – I don’t have a choice in that – nonetheless, it is very therapeutic. I occasionally binge on Netflix; I have been known to spend an entire day watching something that grabs me.
You have won the OT lottery. What are the first three things you would do with the £1m jackpot?I would book a big holiday in South America – I travel a lot but I have never been there. I would also visit the Southampton Boat Show and get a 30ft sport cruiser to the tune of £300K. And probably some liposuction!
Mitchel’s 10-second challengeKindle or hardback? Hardback
Cheese or chocolate? Chocolate
Apple or Android? Apple
Takeaway or fine dining? Fine dining
Trainers or heels/brogues? Trainers
Beach bum or culture vulture? Beach bum
Strictly or X Factor? Strictly
About the author
Mitchel completed his ophthalmic dispensing and technician course at City and Islington College, returning later to teach as a part-time lecturer until 2013. He completed his pre-registration year at Moorfields Eye Hospital and has continued to work there on a part-time basis for the last 15 years. Mitchel is also part of SeeAbility’s vision team.