Interview with Ophthalmologist Dr Neil Murray
I have been a general ophthalmologist for 26 years. During this time, I have been privileged to work mainly in New Zealand, but also in Australia and a number of developing world countries as well. I have seen the burden of visual impairment and blindness firsthand in these countries. They are, in large part, preventable. I am passionate to see sustainable services delivering quality interventions, such as cataract surgery. I remain humbled by the life changing outcomes that can be obtained even in the most trying circumstances. To this end, I am involved in governance and eye care education with RANZCO, and continue to have developing world involvement with RANZCO, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ. My wife Tania and I have two adult children, both of whom work in public health, and two lively granddaughters. I enjoy hiking, and am currently working on my stand up paddle boarding skills (with some way to go yet!).
Why did you decide to make it your profession to help people with their eyes?
Why did I choose ophthalmology? Quite simple really. I am myopic. An ophthalmologist prescribed my first pair of contact lenses. I was intrigued. After finishing medical school, I was still interested enough to take up a rotation in ophthalmology. I found the unique mix of medicine and surgery refreshing. The rest, as they say, is history. I love my job.
Why do you believe vision is such an important sense to look after?
Eyes are so small, yet arguably the most critical sense we have. I have found this to be most apparent when people lose their sight, even more so when it can be restored.
What is one thing you want all people to know about looking after their eyes?
Have regular eye check-ups - schedule them in!