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Today's Practice | Sep 2010

5 Questions with Nevbahar Tamcelik,MD

1.What challenges have you had to overcome being a woman in a male-dominated profession?
Working in a male-dominated profession has not been a challenge for me. I live in a country where women were given the right to vote and to be elected to public office in 1934 by our revolutionist founder and leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Turkish women were granted these rights much earlier than women in many Western countries.

2. In what ways will the Turkish Ophthalmological Society be involved in the 2011 winter meeting of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) in Istanbul?
The Turkish Ophthalmological Society addresses the educational needs of ophthalmologists in Turkey. Including our national meeting, the Turkish Ophthalmological Society promotes and scientifically supports five educational events in cataract, refractive, vitreoretinal, and glaucoma surgery every year. We believe that these events significantly contribute to the progress of Turkish ophthalmology.

Next year, the ESCRS 2011 Winter meeting will be held in Istanbul. We believe and expect that this meeting will be at the forefront of ophthalmologic educational events that have taken place in Turkey. We very much look forward to conveying the importance of this event to our colleagues.

We encourage our neighboring countries' ophthalmic societies to come and be part of this great event. This meeting will be advertised on our Web site (www.todnet.org) and during our national meeting. We have already prepared a detailed program of the live surgery session, which I hope will scientifically satisfy attendees.

3.What pearls can you offer for the simultaneous management of cataract and glaucoma?
If topical antiglaucoma therapy successfully regulates intraocular pressure (IOP) in a patient with both cataract and glaucoma, I recommend performing cataract surgery first, followed by glaucoma surgery if required. Cataract and glaucoma surgery may be required simultaneously if topical antiglaucoma therapy fails to regulate IOP in a patient with moderate glaucoma.

I recommend urgent glaucoma surgery in a patient with severe glaucoma accompanied by advanced glaucomatous optic neuropathy before dealing with the patient's cataract. In this patient, cataract surgery may be performed after IOP has stabilized for a satisfactory period of time. I prefer performing a one-site phacotrabeculectomy becasue I believe this approach results in less inflammation and a better success rate when compared with other techniques. I would also like to note the importance of using mitomycin-C when performing phacotrabeculectomy for patients who have previously undergone a glaucoma surgery and for pseudexfoliation glaucoma.

4. As an educator, what skills do you try to instill in your students?
I always try to teach my students that every patient should be assessed based on his individual characteristics and symptoms. I also strongly emphasize to my students that medical or surgical therapy should be performed only for appropriate indications and with special attention to these individual properties of each patient. I also teach my students to act like a partner to the patient throughout the treatment process. I belive that this attitude strongly influences the final results.

5.What are your interests outside ophthalmology?
I like to spend my free time with Bianca, my Siberian husky, playing sports, hiking in the countryside, and swimming.