Why did James Ball become an eye surgeon?

YouTube video

Why did James Ball become an eye surgeon?

For me, it was all about one event that happened when I was an undergraduate at Cambridge. It was just luck. It was the first day of our orientation, I had just turned 22 years old, and I was feeling a little bit uncertain about the whole having a career in medicine. I hadn’t quite yet seen anything that felt like a fit for me.

I enjoyed general surgery but didn’t see anything I found that fascinating. I quite enjoy general practice, but again I couldn’t see myself in that role. Then quite unexpectedly found myself sitting in an eye clinic with a lovely man called Martin Snead, who I now know quite well. He’s an excellent vitreoretinal surgeon at Addenbrooke Hospital in Cambridge.

The first patient was this lovely man who was a professor of Egyptology, and he brought in his latest textbook, which he’d dedicated to Martin and the team at Addenbrooke because they had successfully treated his retinal detachment in his only eye. The dedication just said, “without you and your expertise and the work of your team, I would not have my vision. I would not have written this book. I would not be continuing to undertake the work that I love and enjoy. And, I wouldn’t be able to see my grandchildren.”

It blew me away, and I was astonished at the impact that Martin and the team had on this gentleman’s life, and I was hooked. So from then, it made my life very simple. I ignored all the career advice which was ‘James you should do a full medical rotation after house jobs and spend three years doing neurology…’

I thought long and hard about that. I thought “no, I want to be an eye surgeon” and it will be similar to learning music, which I did a lot of growing up, which means the younger I start and the more hours I spend practising and doing this, the better I’ll become, so “I’m going to do that.”

So as soon as I could, I went into ophthalmology. I did my house jobs and then straight into an ophthalmology post. Having a look back, I loved every minute of it since then and still do, and I intend to carry on until they say, “Stop”.

Life is in the details

Discover your eye treatment options by giving us a call on: 0345 6430 466

Our reviews on Trustpilot

By James Ball | February 28, 2017 | Posted in
Related Posts

Request a Call Back

The best way to figure out your treatment options is to request a call back by filling in the form below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Get a free copy of the 40+ Guide to Ageing Eyes

Eyesight Guide - Private Eye Surgery in Leeds & York