SCHOLARSHIP WINNER - NOVEMBER 2016
Laura Kueny, MD
PGY-2 Ophthalmology resident
Georgetown University / Washington Hospital Center
Oahu is the third largest of the Hawaiian islands but holds two thirds of the population for the state of Hawaii. The largest population center is Honolulu, and right in the middle of the city is Dr. Ming Chen’s ophthalmology practice. It makes perfect sense that Dr. Chen’s practice is so conveniently located - after spending a week with him it is clear that he has everything in exactly the right place, and it is a good thing, because with the schedule that he keeps, the efficiencies that he has designed into both his practice and his life come in quite handy.
The first thing to know about Dr. Chen is that he speaks four languages, and this is a huge benefit for his diverse patient population. Being fluent in four languages allows Dr. Chen to provide his patients a comfort level in their communications that clearly puts them at ease when dealing with eye surgery and other health matters. Dr. Chen develops a relationship with his patients that goes beyond his specialty - his overall goal is to help his patients feel better and live better lives, and it starts with being able to easily converse with them in their native languages. Dr. Chen’s multi lingual skills are also evident when he takes you to one of the magnificent local restaurants - not only do you get the best food and the best service, you can sit anywhere that you want.
The equipment that Dr. Chen uses is truly state of the art. This opportunity provides clinical and surgical experience utilizing the LenSx, ORA, Ocular Response Analyzer, Verion, and premium IOL use. The technology is also the other half of his teaching style - not only does he have all the best equipment, he integrates how to use it into his style of teaching.
This program provides a valuable and publishable individualized research project to each resident. The research opportunities available are across different fields of study in Ophthalmology including cornea, glaucoma, and plastics. Dr. Chen is a monumental mentor in research and is excellent at determining the scope and framework for any project.
Dr. Chen is an excellent teacher and clearly enjoys helping those around him learn. One reason that he may be so strong at teaching is that he spends hours every week himself studying the industry and learning about new techniques and technologies. He has a very easy going nature that puts you at ease, but at the same time he has a command of the material and the technology that is literally on the cutting edge.
Dr. Chen does not limit his teaching to his field of specialty. It was truly refreshing to learn that he takes a holistic approach to “being a doctor”. During our time together we covered many topics, from the value of international mission trips to being savvy in real estate investing. Keeping in good health is another example, and Dr. Chen leads an active life with golf, yoga, and martial arts.
My time in Hawaii was unforgettable for more than the reasons listed in this review. Yes, the people are warm and friendly, and yes, the climate and sights are beyond compare. The views and natural wonders are out of this world, and I was fortunate that my husband, Matt, could make the trip with me. But when I think about Hawaii I will always think about a particular Doctor who was so gracious with his time and wisdom and the inspiration that he provided during one week, that I have taken with me and look forward to sharing as I progress in not only ophthalmology but life as well.