Jaheed Khan Profile
Wow! The eyes have it for Jaheed Khan
The “Wow Factor” can be used to describe any magical moment – like hearing an other-worldly singing voice that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up; or gazing in wonder at a view so beautiful it takes your breath away.
Although eager estate agents are keen to hear their clients speak of a possible new home as having the elusive “Wow Factor”; it is not often used in connection with a medical clinic. But this is how consultant ophthalmic surgeon Jaheed Khan described his first impressions of Clinica London.
When he heard about the vision that lead to the creation of Clinica London at 140 Harley Street Jaheed Khan knew that he wanted to be a part of the private eye clinic.
“Jane Olver (Clinica London founder) approached me when I was her registrar at Western Eye Hospital. I found the essential philosophy of such an aesthetic eye clinic very conducive … it really has the wow factor.
“Jane was talking about her vision for of her clinic and I thought, if I ever got to run a clinic, that’s exactly how I would want to do it – to create a beautiful area with lots of light and space; clean lines, art work and fine books. If I were a patient, this is the sort of place I would like to be treated in. It just appeals on every sort of level to me – and it’s in stark contrast to many NHS clinics which are sadly dark and cold places.
“When Jane said ‘think about it’, I definitely did.”
Jaheed Khan joined the Clinica London team in spring 2013.
“I love my days working here – they are like a breath of fresh air. I enjoy having time to talk to and get to know the patients. It is much more than merely treating their eyes – it’s about getting to know the whole person and understanding their needs. All too often in a busy NHS environment it can be like a conveyor belt with no time to ponder, talk or reflect… after all, patients are much more than just their eyes. It is nice being able to get to know the people behind the eyes too.”
Jaheed Khan is also a full time NHS consultant at the Bedford branch of Moorfields Eye Hospital.
He was brought up in Stamford (near Peterborough) where his mother was a GP and his father a psychiatrist. His sister has also followed the family’s medical tradition and is a GP. So why did Jaheed choose a future in eye health?
“All the planets were aligned when I made my choice in medicine. Ophthalmology suits my personality perfectly – I like the high volume yet precision of the treatment – the neatness of the procedures. Also that it is an outpatient dominated speciality – I prefer this environment to being in a hospital ward with chronically ill patients. I am sure that is OK for some other characters, but for me this is much more satisfying. The surgery is short and it results in happy patients.”
Jaheed explained that the age of general ophthalmology has passed, to be replaced by several sub-specialities. After completing higher ophthalmic training he was selected for advanced sub-specialist fellowship training at Moorfields Eye Hospital where he developed expertise in cataract surgery and diabetic retinopathy as well as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
“Because so much of the eye can be seen , conditions can be visualised directly without having to use, for instance, a CT scan. Even the back of the eye is visible via special equipment by dilating the pupils. This means that diagnosis is relatively straightforward – as is the treatment which is often life changing for the patient.
“That is the wonderful thing about cataract surgery – you have an almost instantaneous result. The next day the patient’s vision is back to normal and there is a grateful patient which is very rewarding. It is genuinely satisfying to be able to give the elderly population their lives back.
“And, we are getting great results with the advent of new treatments for AMD – it is wonderful to be able to reverse vision loss in those who were starting to lose it and are treated promptly.”
Consultations, the necessary ocular examinations and diagnostics, as well as “simple” treatments, are carried out by Jaheed Khan at Clinica London. While The London Clinic (on the opposite side of Harley Street) is used for some diabetic retinopathy treatments, laser surgery and other more major procedures.
Given his appreciation of the aesthetics of Clinica London, it is not surprising that Jaheed enjoys the world of design and art; and in his rare free time can be found visiting modern art galleries of the capital.
Before becoming a father (he has a five year old daughter and four year old son), he was a keen and accomplished squash player and also enjoyed ski-ing. He is now looking forward to sharing sports with his children and is pretty sure that his daughter, especially, will be a good tennis player.
He is also passionate about travel and remembers fondly a holiday with his wife on the remote, lush volcanic island of Mali in the middle of the Pacific Ocean – a nine hour flight from Los Angeles.
This year he hopes to fulfil another travel dream by visiting Japan where he is intrigued by the juxtaposition of the bustling intensity of Tokyo city life; with the calm serenity of other aspects of the Japanese lifestyle.