Dr. Anish Kapur was interviewed by Laurie Brown, Membership Committee Chair, in May 2017.
Laurie: I met Anish at the Hawaiian Eye 2017 meeting this year where he shared his tremendous background in information technology and electronic health record expertise with administrator attendees. Anish spoke on the New Technology Day agenda. Anish also attended our fantastically attended OWL Connect event there, sponsored by Ocular Surgery News, and promptly joined OWL as a Champion Circle member. Thank you so much for joining at the supporting member level, Anish! Please share with us what it is about OWL that attracted you to membership so quickly?
Anish: What attracted me the most about becoming actively involved with OWL is the fantastic community around the organization. Even as a non-member attending the OWL Connect event, I immediately felt welcomed into the group. After talking to some of the members during the event, I felt like OWL was not only made up of accomplished ophthalmic professionals, but who were also forward-thinking and ready to talk about their thoughts on how to move the industry forward. Joining the Champion Circle level was something I wanted to do immediately, so I could be part of these pioneering conversations as they progressed. I wanted to join them to continue to speak to the innovative ideas that could benefit everyone, whether it be from a technological stand-point, a physician’s perspective, or both.
Laurie: Tell us how you found the Hawaiian Eye meeting as a first time attendee.
Anish: I thought it was such a great meeting! Not just because it was in Hawaii though! As a speaker, my goal was to be a guide for everyone who attended my talks. Some of the highlights for me personally were when I was attending lectures or networking in-between and after sessions. Usually at conferences, I am working at my company’s (iMedicWare) booth, but attending Hawaiian Eye gave me a chance to listen to what the ophthalmic community is focusing on in particular and what the community’s concerns are for the future. I was able to ask in-depth questions to really delve deeper into what is going to help the practices reach their next level in whichever area they are working to improve. It was such an enjoyable experience because of how personable the meeting was. It wasn’t thousands and thousands of people in a giant convention center; it was an intimate affair where everyone got to know everyone. This also made it a more collaborative experience, which is extremely beneficial and genuinely fun. I already can’t wait for next year’s meeting!
Laurie: Please share your career path with us.
Anish: After medical school, I completed my training in Baltimore and was torn between practicing medicine in a traditional sense or finding another path to apply my medical knowledge. I began to work with iMedicWare and I knew right away that I had found what I was destined to do. I finally felt like I could utilize my background in a way that not only helped my patients, but also helped hundreds and thousands of doctors provide better patient care. I see myself continuing to work in medicine from a technology standpoint. I want to be able to use my medical background hand in hand with my experience in the technology industry to advance the field. I feel like ophthalmology is a perfect fit for me, and, in these years since my medical training, I have dedicated myself to knowing every aspect and inner-working of the specialty and its sub-specialties. I see myself being able to use my background to help practices and surgery centers improve their efficiency, patient care, and their patients’ overall experience. In working with the thought leaders of the industry, I know I will be able to advance the field for everyone involved.
Laurie: We are in very challenging times for the business of ophthalmology and you have the challenge of keeping up with all things Information Technology for your customer, the ophthalmic practice. In what specific area are you currently spending most of your focus helping practices these days?
Anish: Currently, I spend most of my time at practices working with the clinicians and the administrative team to streamline their workflows. Unfortunately, there are a lot of practices who have been held-back by the limited capabilities of their old technology. I’ve spent extensive time reviewing practice’s technology usage and realized that the majority would not be able to grow without making drastic changes to the way they operate.
Laurie: Tell us how you spend your free time when not helping clients?
Anish: My main hobby is Muay Thai Kickboxing. I have been training for over 10 years, and I actually went to Thailand for two months before medical school to train with some of the top-level competitors in the discipline. I also really like to travel, even though nowadays I mainly travel for work. I still like to find time to go to different places around the world for a unique adventure, something that will expose me to new situations, cultures, and customs.
Laurie: Finally, what has your OWL membership meant to you now that you’ve attended ASCRS as an OWL member, and what advice might you give to other new OWL members?
Anish: By being an OWL member, I have been able to meet more professionals and get to know them on a personal level. It has been a great way to expand my network and has given me the opportunity to learn from people that I may not have had the chance to speak with otherwise. The best advice I can give new OWL members to take advantage of being there by attending as many talks as possible. There are so many innovative and accomplished experts, who are willing to share their thoughts and experiences, so there is a lot that can be learned from them. I’d also say that you should not be afraid to speak up if you have an idea you feel is worth discussing. I found the professionals involved in OWL are open to hearing opinions and discussing new ideas.