In this blog post, Jane Olver interviews Professor Michaelides to find out how he is so organised and efficient, and a little more about what inherited retinal diseases are.
Jane Olver: Hello, Michel, how are you?
Professor Michel Michaelides: I am very well. How are you, Jane?
Jane Olver: I am very well. How long have you been at Clinica London now?
Jane Olver: Oh it feels like forever. .. in a good way. I think it is 5-6 years. I think time goes so fast. It is quite frightening, but I feel like I have always been here.
Jane Olver: But you have not got any grey hair yet!
Professor Michel Michaelides: I cut my hair very short.
Jane Olver: Joking aside, tell me little about how your retinal sub-speciality has developed in that six years. You are a medical retina, inherited retinal man or ophthalmologist. You are international and nationally extremely well known for your clinical expertise and you are involved in what seems like hundreds of research projects. Tell me how it has evolved and how did you fit it all in?
Professor Michel Michaelides: That is very kind. It has got increasingly busy. I have always been blessed with being very efficient with the use of my time and very focussed and able to use my time very well. But as I have got more senior, I have got better at delegating as well and identifying really good people, and so that has helped and working in parallel helps.
Jane Olver: What does that mean, working in parallel?
Professor Michel Michaelides: It means having lots of different things on the go at the same time and also if I am trying to get from A to B, I will try three different ways to get to B, all at the same time, so I get to be faster. It might seem like …is that the best use of all your energies, but now I can do that.
Jane Olver: I am developing a picture of having many brains that work simultaneously together, and that certainly would fit with how busy you are.
Professor Michel Michaelides: Yeah. It seems just to be working that way. No matter what I am doing, it seems to be busy …. always solving problems!
Jane Olver: You have several projects going on at the same time. It sounds as though, without putting words in your mouth, one stimulates the other.
Professor Michel Michaelides: Yeah. I think that is right. They are mutually beneficial.
Jane Olver: Professor Michel you are very good at time management. How can you have time for Clinica with all of this?
Professor Michel Michaelides: I love seeing patients, and all my research is clinical – that is to say directly involving patients. Looking after patients is why I have trained so hard, for so long, and I am always learning from seeing patients, so it is mutually beneficial. The knowledge and experience gained from the time spent in the clinic are applied to the research studies we do. Clinica is great fun, and it is a fantastic environment – so it is not hard work from that point of view, and it is certainly harder work in some of the other clinics I work in!