Today marks International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the achievement of women across the world. We speak with Ophthalmic Surgeon Miss Rajni Jain, who is one of our team of leading consultant specialists at the London Eye Unit, about her role at the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth.
Tell us about your specialism and your position at the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth?
I am an ophthalmologist seeing patients with a wide variety of eye conditions.
I am particularly skilled in conditions affecting the eyelids and tear duct. I also treat children with eye conditions.
My other skills include eyelid reconstruction following tumour excision and burns, children with eyelid abnormalities, and aesthetic oculoplastics including lifting the eyelids, anti-wrinkle (Botox) injections and facial aesthetics, including dermal fillers.
What inspired you into the field of medicine and your specialism?
The eye is an interesting organ and I have always been fascinated with how it works. I decided to further specialise in eyelids as I have a keen interest in aesthetics. I studied art for A-Level and found I could use my expertise for the process of enhancing and restoring appearance. This may be following disease, such as cancer, or for aesthetic reasons. The satisfaction of patients and building their confidence is very rewarding.
Tell us about how long you have been practising medicine and your training?
I graduated in 1995 from Guys and St Thomas and have completed over 20 years of training.
Do you take part in any education events or lecturing?
Yes, I regularly conduct GP lecture events. Over the course of a year I give at least 20 lectures a year, 5-6 of those being at the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth. I am also a surgical trainer and am a lead for training specialist doctors at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. I am proud to have also been named as a Lead Educator for Ophthalmic surgeons at Imperial College, London.
What ophthalmology complaints do you most commonly see?
My training allows me to see a full range of eye conditions. This ranges from general complaints (such as red eye, blurred vision, eyelid issues, tear duct problems, watering eyes, lid lumps and bumps, and drooping eyelids) to more specialist and technical issues (such as patients requiring reconstructive procedures due to cancer, burns and trauma). My aesthetic practice is well established and has gratifyingly grown from “word of mouth”.
What are the main methods of treatment?
There is a combination of surgical and non-surgical treatments. We often perform one stop treatment options for certain patients. This means I can treat patients with minor conditions right there and then during their initial consultation. We can also perform a large number of the facial aesthetic procedures as treatments in clinic. For the more complex patients we have built a specialist team to look after the patient’s care optimally.
Why do patients benefit from coming to the London Eye Unit?
Patients benefit from the expert advice and approach to teamwork provided at the London Eye Unit, which shines through from all individuals involved with a patient – from the staff that greet and register patients, the nursing team and the team of consultants. The strict governance in the hospital makes it a safe place to visit and practise. The London Eye Unit is a state of the art facility, allowing us to organise tests and appropriate treatment for patients without delay. The clinic has an enviable reputation and patients are very complimentary of the service and facilities. Patients attending Casualty First can receive immediate care from specialists.
How important do you think initiatives like International Women’s Day are?
I think being a woman today, particularly with the “me too” movement, is very topical when discussing empowerment. Initiatives like International Women’s Day celebrate the success of women. I have a challenging NHS post, a thriving private practice and I am a training leader within my specialty. I balance this with the needs of my family. Like me, my husband works full-time and we have two young sons. I believe, with the right support, that it is possible to be a woman and have a successful career whilst being able to raise a happy family.
At the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth they understand that consultants have multiple challenges and patient care is always paramount for us. The environment and support provided to us allows us to provide the best care for patients at all times.
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