Interview with Dr Jovina See

Dr Jovina See

Specialist in Ophthalmology and Senior Consultant at Shinagawa Lasik Centre

1) Why did you choose this profession and what do you love most about your job?
I have always wanted to be a doctor since my childhood days, as I used to spend my after-school hours at the National University Hospital Day Surgery ward where my mother was the Day Surgery Nursing Sister. While doing my school homework, I would be observing what the doctors and nurses were doing, and I just loved the bustling environment in which the doctors & nurses worked to help the patients get better.

What do I love most about the job? It has to be those times when the patient is all smiles when they get a good outcome and are happy to be able to see well again. It may be a high myope who is able to see without glasses after LASIK, or an old patient who has had counting fingers vision for years due to cataracts, and after cataract surgery, is suddenly so much happier because she is able to move around better and to see her grandchildren well for the first time. I have even had some old patients with dementia improving in their alertness and mobility after cataract surgery restored their vision. These cases always make me feel that I am doing some good for them and that really makes me happy.

2) What are some of the challenges that women are likely to face in the aesthetic beauty profession and how did you manage to overcome them?
Whether in aesthetics or in any other specialties in medicine, I feel that women do face more challenges compared to their male counterparts. Many patients, especially those in the older generation, still have the notion that male doctors must be better than female ones, and that if you look young, you cannot be a very good doctor. Even when I was the Head of Glaucoma at the National University Hospital, there was the occasional patient who assumed I was the optometrist or nurse, rather than the doctor, simply because I am female and look quite young for my age. I know of an ex-colleague who went to the extent of perming her hair to look more “mature” in order to gain the confidence of her patients. As for me, my nurses often help me by telling my patients that I am a mother of three. That usually makes them realise my age!

3) What is your mission in Life?
To be ethically responsible and to do what’s right, because I believe that only by doing this, can I be at peace and happy with myself and thus make others happy too.

4) How do you create a work-life balance for yourself?
Work is important but Family is even more so. I believe that we can do our best at work, only if we are happy at home. Hence, work-life balance is very important to me. I make it a point to send my kids to school in the mornings, and get them home from school during my lunchtime, so that I can spend more time with them. Even when this means gobbling up my lunch in my car while waiting for them outside their school, it’s worth it, just to see their smiles and to get their hugs! Nights and weekends are for the family as far as possible. I also make sure I keep myself fit by exercising regularly throughout the week. My piano keeps me relaxed when I feel stressed.

5) How would you define “Beauty”?
Beauty comes from within. It’s how you feel about yourself that’s more important. If you are at peace with yourself and confident about yourself, you should not have to worry about what others think of you.

Grace says: I’m grateful to Dr See and her team for the successful Lasik surgery which has enabled me to say goodbye to spectacles and contact lenses (hopefully forever). 🙂 I recommended my younger sister to go for the surgery as well and I was pleased at the newfound confidence she exuded post-surgery. Just like a friend had said, this surgery is indeed “the best gift you can give yourself”, and your family!