How Professor Michel Michaelides is advancing the Retinal speciality of Inherited Retinal Disease (IRD)
Jane Olver: Are you training people now in your subspeciality of inherited retinal disease as it becomes a more commonly recognised problem and advances offer more treatment options?
Professor Michel Michaelides: Yeah. So I have five PhD students at the moment, and I am hoping I can impart at least to half of them the enthusiasm to make them want to become inherited retinal disease specialists.
Jane Olver: This must be part of your delegation because they must be involved with patients working with you as a team?
Professor Michel Michaelides: Absolutely and I am straying off the point maybe, but I see that the most significant legacy I could have would be to leave people that are better than me, so that would be great.
Jane Olver: Fantastic that would be great… but very difficult!
Professor Michel Michaelides: I think you know teaching and passing on one’s knowledge is very satisfying.
Jane Olver: Are these PhD students involved in your trials that you are doing?
Professor Michel Michaelides: Absolutely yes. So, they all are dedicated or attached to one particular clinical trial, so we are running four at the moment for inherited retinal disease, and we are aiming to run three more next year, so it is only going to get busier.
Jane Olver: That will be seven.
Professor Michel Michaelides: Yes.
Jane Olver: So you are going to get even more organised! At some stage, you are going to have to drop something. Is there room in your timetable to drop anything without interfering in your own life as well?
Professor Michel Michaelides: That’s a good question. I have got a lot better at guarding time to get away, and I find having time away actually makes you more efficient when you are working, so I am cautious to do that.
Jane Olver: Recharges, doesn’t it?
Professor Michel Michaelides: Definitely. I am careful to do that. I think once you have established an infrastructure and you have got good people around you, you can do more. So the first two or three years from my appointment were particularly challenging because there was very little in place to really be able to ramp things up and now I feel that things are in place to actually be able to run several things all in one go. So I am hoping to keep on going.
Jane Olver: What about lecturing internationally? Is that increasing or is lecturing, I don’t want to say under control, let’s use the word stabilise.
Professor Michel Michaelides: You have a lot of experience in this area, so I think you get better at saying no. You get better at realising how much you can do without it negatively impacting upon everything else. And, you can do enough where it remains enjoyable and collaborative, and you meet new people and get new ideas. So yeah, I have got better at being more selective.