2017 Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. Emanuel Rosen

I was notified recently that I am to be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Society of Refractive Surgery, which is a part of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the foremost organisation of ophthalmologists in the world, of course based in America. The award is to be presented at the Sub Specialty Day on Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the day before the annual Congress of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in New Orleans on 10 November 2017. The award is specifically in recognition of my contributions to refractive surgery which I will characterize as follows.

I was the first ophthalmologist in the United Kingdom to practice and adopt the corneal laser surgery known as LASIK which involves creating a flap in the cornea and reshaping the cornea to adjust the focus of an eye. It is a very successful procedure and I created my own clinic based on that technology using the latest laser device for that purpose. 

As a consequence of this development I was invited by the Boots Laser Company, the foremost pharmaceutical company in the United Kingdom, to direct and lead their newly formed corneal laser company which eventually created nine country-wide clinics of which I was Director and key participant. This lasted from the year 2000 to 2004 when the Boots Laser Company decided to change direction and sold the business to the Optical Express Company, who I did not work for.

I suggested to them that they were limiting their options by performing solely corneal laser surgery. I explained to them that many of the patients who approached them for treatment would fail on the parameters for application of corneal laser surgery but many of them would be amenable to refractive lens exchange surgery, which again I had pioneered in the United Kingdom. They adopted my suggestion and to date they have carried out thousands of lens exchange procedures as well as corneal laser surgery for which I am of course indirectly responsible.

I have since retired from refractive surgery and it is a great pleasure for me to know that my efforts have been appreciated by international and national peer review groups as well (United Kingdom and Ireland Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (2015 Lifetime achievement award) .