Continuing our The Ophthalmologist Power List 2020 series, Editorial Board member Professor Anat Loewenstein of Tel Aviv University, Israel, shares her motivations, career highlights and her predictions for developments in ophthalmology over the coming year.
Q: What motivated you to become an ophthalmologist?
I decided to become an ophthalmologist for two main reasons: the first is that I realised that I can help patients fast and in an effective manner in many cases. The second reason was that I thought it is a profession in which I can focus on an area and gain a very good expertise. I believed it would be possible in ophthalmology to become excellent in my profession.
Q: What has been the most rewarding part of your career so far?
I have so many rewarding parts. I think a main one is leading the division for many years bringing it to be one of the prominent ones in Israel and the world, building a strong group of ophthalmologists, establishing and assisting in their careers and being able to provide with my division excellent care from our tertiary referral centre to a large population in Tel Aviv and beyond. Another rewarding part is being a mentor to many young residents, but also young retina specialists in various international groups, and assist and witness their development to become leaders and excellent retina specialists- researchers.
Q3: What developments are you most excited to hear about in 2020–2021?
The most exciting developments have to do with development of home monitoring and patient-based diagnosis in the field of ophthalmology. I think this is crucial especially in light of the pandemic we are all experiencing. I am also very excited about the development of genetic treatments and modalities to treat diseases which are incurable, such as geographic atrophy.
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Published: 9 June 2020
Anat Loewenstein, MD, Full Professor of Ophthalmology, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and Sidney Fox Chair of Ophthalmology at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at the Tel Aviv University, and the Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Tel Aviv Medical Center.
Dr Loewenstein studied medicine at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and following that, spent 4 years in the Israeli Navy, serving as a physician officer at the Navy’s Headquarters. She completed residency in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Tel Aviv Medical Center in Tel Aviv, and a fellowship in retina vascular diseases and vitreoretina surgery unit at the Wilmer Institute, at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. She then returned to Israel and after 2 years as the Head of the Vitreoretina Unit, became the Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Tel Aviv Medical Center. Dr Lowenstein has also completed a Master of Health Administration degree at the Tel Aviv University Business School.
Her main field of interest is the investigation of the drug toxicity to the retina. In addition, she is involved in the development of multiple innovative efforts, was the leader behind the development of novel technology for early detection of macular degeneration, and recently, the development of automated technology for detection of retinal disease activity and the development of augmented virtual reality to replace the operating microscope.
Dr Loewenstein has published more than 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and contributed multiple chapters to ophthalmology textbooks. She has multiple roles in the most prominent retina societies (previously as the international representative in the ASRS, and international representative in the Macula Society; and currently, serves on the International committee of the macula society and is currently the General Secretary of the EURETINA). Dr Lowenstein is active at most international retina meetings as a delegate and an invited speaker. She serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Case Reports in Ophthalmology, and is an Associate Editor of the European Journal of Ophthalmology and of Ophthalmologica. In Israel, Dr Lowenstein has served as the Chairman of the Israeli Board of Ophthalmology, and currently serves as the chair of the Ministry of Health’s ethics committee and is a member of the National Council of Surgery and anaesthesia. She has received multiple international awards, including the “Rosenthal” award, and the Patz medal of the Macula Society, as well as most recently, the Michelson Award of the Macula Society, and the Silver Fellow Medal of ARVO.