What is Robert Morris’ training, background and experience?

My training started as an eighteen-year-old as a medical student in St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. After a period of two years, when I took membership of the Royal Collage of Physicians and worked as a physician, I decided that I was going to pursue my career in ophthalmology.

People often ask me “why did you become an ophthalmologist?”. The reason is that in Barth’s we had two good ophthalmologists who were really good teachers. And they inspired me. I took a one-year elective period, we had a choice of what we could do, and I spent it doing eye surgery at Bart’s. And I was so inspired by these men that that’s what triggered my interest and I had not one single regret since.

So the path I took was to do the 6 months eye job in Bart’s and then I went to the Oxford Eye Hospital for two years and then subsequently Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, which is the largest ophthalmic teaching hospital, not only in the UK, but in Europe. I also trained at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Great Ormond Street, and spent a year in America.

Unusually, I have two specialist interests. I spent a year doing corneal diseases at Moorfields Eye Hospital and I also spent a year doing pediatric ophthalmology in squints in America. And when refractive surgery came along in the early 90’s, as I love technology, I decided this is an interesting area to get involved with. So pediatric ophthalmology  and strabismus is very rewarding but it doesn’t have the excitement and buzz of new technology that refractive surgery and cataract surgery has.

So what many people don’t realise how long it takes to train to become a consultant. So, from the age of 18 it’s six years in medical school, and then I did two years as a physician and then at the age of 34, I was appointed as a consultant eye surgeon. So from going to medical school  to become a consultant, it is a period of 16 years.

But what’s important, and people don’t always realise, is that we have to continue to train. So once you become a consultant you don’t stop training, you never stop learning, you never stop training. It’s important that we go to regular meetings and that we teach because teaching is also a great way of learning. Because in order to teach, you have to have a real in-depth knowledge about a subject. And it’s much easier to keep up to date now. In the past, we would be looking at textbooks or journals that were often 2 or 3 years old when they were published, but now, with the advantages of the internet, and videos online, and early publication of journals online, it’s much easier to keep up to date.

More about Robert Morris

Rob Morris is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at The Grange Eye Consultants. His special expertise is in cataract and refractive surgery, including Refractive Lens Exchange, and adult squint. He has over 30 years experience in treating people with eye problems. Rob Morris founded Grange Eye Consultants to manage the increasing demand for more complex refractive surgery. He leads clinical trials investigating novel eye treatments. He is currently Medical Director at Optegra Eye Hospitals.