We all struggle to find direction in our lives. It can come from a magazine, a newspaper (do people still read those?), or your favourite television show. It can come from a profound experience you had in your life that leaves a mark so deep that it pivots you from your predetermined path. For Dr. Clara Chan, this pivotal moment came from the person she admired and lived with for a great portion of her life. He would come in every day and sit across her at the dinner table and tell her endless stories of the miracles he performed on his patients. Every night, she would hear the passion in his voice and see the sparkle in his eye whenever he helped a patient out. She was captivated by how this man created such a difference in these strangers lives that she wanted to follow the same path as him. Little did this man know that all of his stories from the office would inspire his little girl to plan a roadmap on how to become an outstanding ophthalmologist and a GirlBoss in TheSix
If you think becoming an ophthalmologist is easy, think again. The average person spends 12-16 years in school, longer if they want to pursue post-secondary education. If you want to pursue a degree in the medical field, add a minimum of 4 more years on top of that to get your MD! It doesn’t stop there, you have a few years to go through being a resident and figuring out what you want to specialize in and then identify your sub-specialty, and finally doing your fellowship year before you are officially done. By the time you have finished everything, you are well into your early 30’s!
Being a problem solver and having a tactical mindset for approaching any complicated issue, helped Clara further solidify that her true calling was to be an ophthalmologist. In her fellowship year, she found that she could add even more value specializing in cornea and refractive surgery.
For Clara, she has helped patients with a wide variety of complicated eye conditions such as glaucoma, astigmatism, cornea dystrophy, and cataracts. She has even helped a patient that was losing sight from his second eye (he lost vision from his first eyes due to complications from Stevens-Johnson syndrome). I won’t go into all of the details but after countless hours of surgery with various surgeons including Dr. Clara Chan, they helped him restore a good portion of his sight. But equally important, they restored his confidence.