Graduation Year: 2000
Field: PhD in ophthalmology on the topic of laser surgery of LASIK eye defects
Current position: Head of Gemini Eye Clinics
How did your career develop after graduating from FM HK?
During my PhD studies, I worked as a Deputy Head of the Eye Department of the T. Bata Regional Hospital in Zlín, and 2 years after graduation, I became the head of this department. I held the position of Head Doctor until 2008, when I left for the Private Eye Clinic Gemini, which I founded in Zlín. At present, the Gemini Clinic has 10 branches in the Czech Republic and one in Vienna, Austria. We perform over 30,000 eye surgeries a year. In 2017, I was the first ophthalmologist in the Czech Republic and Austria to receive the European professional title FEBOS-CR, which means a Fellow of the European Board of Ophthalmology Specialist in Cataract and Refractive Surgery. I introduced a number of new surgical methods in the Czech Republic and performed several of them for the first time in the world: correction of high astigmatism by corneal lenticular rotation, implantation of a presbyopic phakic lens and femtomatrix laser cataract surgery. I was elected to the committee of the European Society of Cataracts and Refractive Surgeons and the President of the American-European professional society AECOS = American European Congress of Ophthalmic Surgery, as the first Czech ophthalmologist. I gained a few more awards and prizes both in the Czech Republic and abroad. I was elected The Doctor of the Year in 2011 by The Patient Union.
What comes up in your mind when you say the Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Králové?
After Palacky University in Olomouc, where I studied medicine, this is my second Alma Mater. I consider Charles University to be the most prestigious Czech university and for many years I have been an assistant at the Faculty of Medicine of Charles University in Prague. prof. Pavel Rozsíval, M.D., Ph.D., those days the Head of the Eye Department of the Medical Faculty of Charles University in Hradec Králové was my supervisor and the person who led me to my Ph.D. studies in Hradec Králové. I already admired professor Rozsíval as a medical student who longed for ophthalmology. His paper selections were an invaluable source of professional information at that time. I was very happy to meet him as an ophthalmologist personally and him together with Dr. Gimbel in Canada and associate professors Kuběna and Smečka in Zlín became my invaluable mentor and professional idol. As of my professional beginnings, I admired professor Rozsíval’s professional overview and the wide range of operations he performed, as well as his publishing and lecturing activities. He was one of the few in his generation who,via their papers, made the way through not only in the Czech Republic but also abroad. And I am very glad that professor Rozsíval also performs the operations at our Gemini clinic too.
What experience associated with studying at the faculty do you remember the most?
Well, I remember most my wild rides from Zlín to Hradec Králové. I had to catch up with patients in Zlín in the morning and be at lectures in Hradec Králové at 2 pm. At that time, the road between Zlín and Hradec was not as connected by motorway sections as it is nowadays. So those days I drove my Oltcit and later Škoda Forman, sometimes at the limit of their possibilities and a little beyond the limits of traffic regulations, to arrive on time. And, after the lectures back again and sometimes in the evening to check the patients at the clinic. I remember, maybe smiling a bit, my English exam. In addition to Czech citizenship, I also have the Canadian one. I used to often visit Canada to gain professional experience, so medical English didn’t worry me. I also remember having my dissertation spread across the whole bedroom at home before I compleated it up. And of course me and my family remember the beautiful graduation ceremony in the time-honored Karolinum.
What do you consider to be the greatest success in your career so far?
Due to an artificial cornea we managed to restore the sight of several people who had been blind for many decades, for example. The first lady-patient with a Boston-type artificial cornea was blind for 16 years, and to this day, 12 years after the implantation, she still sees well and even reads without glasses. Another patient was blind for the full 53 years after a hot metal injury, and together with colleagues from the Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Králové, we wrote a publication about him, which deals with the longest lasting blindness that has ever been cured and published in the literature. This gentleman saw his wife, who had already married him blind already, his son and granddaughter, for the first time after the operation. Unfortunately, after less than a year, this patient became blind again because the function of his retina betraied him, since it was irreversibly damaged. But the first mentioned patient and several others can still see. Well, naturally, if a person manages be the first one to perform some operation, he appreciates it. My team has succeedded in it several times.
What hobbies are you into in your free time?
My most common leisure activity is sport. In winter this is skiing, snowboarding, ski mountaineering and cross-country skiing. And from Spring to Autumn I swim almost daily. During a coronavirus pandemic, I try swim-hardening regularly. I really like mountain biking and last couple years the whole of our family enjoys a new summer sport – motor surf JetSurf. We have taught our grown-up children most of these sports, so we can and often practice them together. As the time flows, I enjoy tourism more and more, as my wife is its big fan. We walk out our female-dog Fany, my wife performs canis therapy with her in the hospital.