A Japanese woman and an Ophthalmologist with 9 years of experience in Japan, I hope very much to complete a Fellowship Position in Pediatric Ophthalmology in the USA. I look forward to giving the balance of my professional lifetime to the fullest possible immersion and engagement with Pediatric Ophthalmology – research and practice. I have an open mind about the value of new as well as traditional techniques and medicines, East as well as West, and a practiced cultivation of the art of putting my patients and their families at ease. The diagnosis of eye disease, studying its progression, serving on the front lines of treatment, working in support of cutting-edge research – all stand at the center of my world. It was after I became a mother, in particular, that my special passion and a profound sense of calling to Pediatric Ophthalmology would flourish. I could now not feel more drawn to the complex mysteries involved in my chosen field, especially the way in which the cause of decreasing visual acuity can be psychological in some cases; in others, genetics plays a central role.
When I was 4 years old, I had Kawasaki Disease and was hospitalized for a full month. After a fever and swelling of my skin and mucosa, I watched as my hand and feet skin peeled off – most vivid imagery that remains with me until today. The KD also provoked a coronary arteriogram. The entire experience was a nightmare, also for my parents. Thus, I play especially close attention to developments with Kawasaki Disease today, in several parts of the world, as it appears to accompany or follow an infection of COVID-19 in children, with frequency attacking the eyes as well as other part of the body. Forever thankful for life, I had another close call in 2011, when an earthquake and Tsunami hit Japan and my community was near the center of the devastation. My daughter was 5 years old at the time. As we gradually recovered from the chaos, I returned to practicing Ophthalmology with a vigor renewed by our brush with death and the great need for eye care and other forms of medical attention that followed in the aftermath.
In 2012, I came to United States with my daughter on an F-1 Student Visa to attend Kaplan Medical where I earned my ECFMG certificate. From 2017 to present, I have worked as a research assistant in the area of Mitochondrial Quality Control. Oxidative stress inside the eye has become the center of my research interest so far. I find mitochondrial quality control through ubiquitin-proteasome system to be especially fascinating. My mentor, Dr. XXXX has been teaching me much of the science driving research in this area.
I seek a full, lifelong immersion in Pediatric Ophthalmology, beginning with the completion of a fellowship position in the United States which I see as more advanced than Japan, particularly in terms of new, emerging techniques/devices. I also hope to learn a great deal more about myopia, which I see way too much of at a local clinic where I currently serve. I see many young students with myopia who return to the clinic every year to control the progression. The prevalence of myopia in East Asia generally, including Japan, is quite high; more than 90 percent of middle-school-aged-children in Japan are myopic. Many parents are also myopic and seeking effective treatment, including myself, the mother of a myopic child. I look forward to learning as much as I can concerning how myopia is associated with disease and the way that the problem is exacerbated by the pandemic, with most children’s eyes glued to the screen learning online.