Harpal Sandhu '02
- Ophthalmology/retinal surgery
- Academic medicine
- Clinical and translational research
I am an ophthalmologist who subspecializes in retinal surgery and uveitis, which is intraocular inflammatory disease. Since 2016, I have been an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. After Saints, I went to Harvard where I studied chemistry and then Harvard Medical School (HMS) for my medical degree. I stayed in Boston for residency at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and then pursued fellowship training in retinal disease at the Scheie Eye Institute/University of Pennsylvania. As an academic physician and surgeon, I spend most of my time seeing patients, but I also have a significant amount of time set aside for clinical and translational research. I am a member of several clinical trial study groups, I apply artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to ophthalmic imaging, and I collaborate with basic scientists in designing and testing new therapies on animal models of ocular disease. Although I have been away from home for some time now, I still love Vancouver and visit regularly, and most of my family is still here.
Saints was a formative experience in my life, and its community a wonderful one that did tremendous good for me. If I can help younger Old Boys in some way, I am ready and eager. Over the years, some of the best advice I have ever received has been from those only a few years older than me who had recently walked a path that I was only just considering. The devil is often in the details, and getting their feedback and advice was extremely helpful. Occasionally, after speaking to a mentor who had just embarked on an exciting new profession or endeavour, I decided not to pursue that line. Those were sometimes the most valuable conversations of all! I hope I can give Old Boys some perspective on applying to medical school in Canada and the US, pursuing residency/fellowship training in the States, working in academic medicine, and performing medical research.