A Japanese woman and an Ophthalmologist with nine years of experience in Japan, I hope to complete a Fellowship Position in Pediatric Ophthalmology in the USA. I look forward to giving the balance of my professional life to complete immersion and engagement with Pediatric Ophthalmology – research and practice. I have an open mind about the value of new and traditional techniques and medicines, East and West, and practice 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, and working in support of innovative research – all stand at the center of my world. After becoming a mother, my unique passion, and a profound sense of calling to Pediatric Ophthalmology would flourish. I could now not feel more drawn to the complex mysteries in my chosen field, especially how the cause of decreasing visual acuity can be psychological in some cases; in others, genetics plays a leading role.
When I was four years old, I had Kawasaki Disease and was hospitalized for months. After fever and swelling of my skin and mucosa, I watched as my hand and feet' skin peeled off – the most vivid imagery that remains with me today. The KD also provoked a coronary arteriogram. The entire experience was a nightmare, also for my parents. Thus, I pay incredibly 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, frequently attacking the eyes and other parts of the body. Forever thankful for life, I had another narrow escape in 2011 when an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, and my community was near the center of the devastation. My daughter was five 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 the United States with my daughter on an F-1 Student Visa to attend Kaplan Medical, where I earned my ECFMG certificate. From 2017 to the present, I have worked as a research assistant in Mitochondrial Quality Control. Oxidative stress inside the eye has become the center of my research interest. I find mitochondrial quality control through the ubiquitin-proteasome system to be incredibly fascinating. My mentor, Dr. XXXX, has taught me the science driving research in this area.
I hope to complete a fellowship position in Pediatric Ophthalmology in the United States which I see as more advanced than Japan, particularly in new, emerging techniques/devices. I also hope to learn much about myopia. I see many young students with intolerance who return to the clinic every year to control the progression. The prevalence of myopia in East Asia, including Japan, is 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 how the problem is exacerbated by the pandemic, with most children’s eyes glued to the screen learning online.
Pediatric Ophthalmology Fellowship Personal Statement