By Ciaran Chay Jie Wei, St. Andrew’s Junior College graduate

I had the pleasure of engaging in a week-long attachment at the International Eye Cataract Retina Centre located in the Farrer Park Medical Centre from 7 to 13 March 2018. During this time, I observed the everyday routine of the medical professionals there which included eye examinations performed by optometrists, consultations and of course surgeries which were done by Dr Au Eong Kah Guan, whom I was attached to.

The clinic utilises a wide array of machines ranging from the standard eye screening machines to the more complex fundus camera and even an optical coherence tomography machine designed to capture cross-sectional images of the retina. Observing how the clinic’s seasoned optometrists deftly conducted the numerous eye tests for patients reminded me of how often the spotlight of recognition is cast solely on doctors, yet these primary eye care professionals also play a key part in diagnosing any potential problems that could arise.

I was thrilled when I learned I would be able to follow Dr Au Eong into the operating theatre to observe first-hand cataract surgery. With the usage of a teaching microscope, I was able to obtain a close-up view of the entire process. Needless to say, I was amazed at the ease at which Dr Au Eong removed the cloudy natural lens and inserted an intraocular lens that would improve the patient’s blurred vision. The speed at which the surgeries were completed belied their complexity and I was awed at how routine it seemed to Dr Au Eong as he was able to explain every step of the surgery while simultaneously performing it.

Patient consultations with Dr Au Eong were also interesting, as he kept them both friendly and professional. It was not uncommon to have 40-minute consultations wherein his patients would share their own stories, however I noticed Dr Au Eong never left any stone unturned when it came to ensuring that his patients did not have any underlying eye problems. Test results were always explained in detail and he made certain that they understood clearly the implications of their condition along with what modes of treatment they could explore.

All in all, I had an amazing experience under Dr Au Eong and his staff. They did not hesitate to make me feel welcomed and went out of their way to explain the inner workings of their daily tasks. I would like to thank Dr Au Eong for giving me this opportunity to gain greater insight into the medical industry and would definitely come back should I encounter any eye problem in the future.