It has now been thirteen years since I first learned of Dr. Chandra and the remarkable work that he had started and was doing in Kakinada. As an ophthalmologist and retina specialist, I was of course most struck by the strides that were being made reversing treatable blindness and have made multiple visits over the years and watched the Srikiran Institute of Ophthalmology grow in leaps and bounds. My most recent visit was in February, 2014 and I came to wonder how much was I really now contributing to what has become a truly state-of-the-art eye hospital.
Although their main focus has always and continues to be cataract surgery now performing over ten thousand sight-restoring cataract surgeries a year, they have become a full-service subspecialty eye hospital with the capacity and ability to do virtually anything that may come their way. I spent the most time with Dr. G. Sandeep Reddy, their retina specialist, operating and seeing patients with him. He is among the most energetic and ambitious young surgeons that I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He is absolutely committed to bringing and delivering the highest quality retina care to the furthest reaches of south India and I have no doubt whatsoever that he has the wherewithal to see this through.
The other observation that encouraged me on this visit and had worried me somewhat on my previous three visits to Srikiran was the succession planning that had been put in place. There is no longer any important element of the enterprise that hinges on any one individual. There is a depth and structure to the organization that leaves no doubt that it is not only sustainable but will grow and endure for generations to come.
Dr. Peter Kertes is an Ophthalmologist and Retina Specialist at Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto.