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    Vitreoretinal surgeon finds purpose in community service


    During a Medical Ministry International Project in 2012, he served as a volunteer ophthalmic surgeon in Tulipan, Mexico, where he performed cataract surgery for the indigenous population.

    “They just have so many needy people there, and we are able to help them when we go there,” he said.

    One of the memories from that trip that stands out for him was walking around the village and joining a soccer game with the local children.

    “We kind of just jumped in and played with them spontaneously,” he said. “Those are the things I cherish. I reflect on those fun experiences and being able to help all those people.”

    In November 2015, Dr. Mali had the opportunity to serve in his own community in Florida with Remote Area Medical, an organization aimed at providing medical care to those with limited access to basic health exams. By performing eye exams and procedures, he was able to contribute to the success of the event.

    “It touched home for me because this is where I live, these are local people in the community who need healthcare,” he said.

    Nevertheless, Dr. Mali’s service work not only benefits the community, but it also serves as a constant reminder of why he is an ophthalmologist.

    “[It provides] a sense of purpose and a sense of peace,” Dr. Mali said.

    Dr. Mali looks forward to participating in more service projects and even incorporating it into family trips with his wife, who is completing her residency in ophthalmology, and their future children.

    “Whether it’s family, religion, service work—whatever brings you peace and a sense of purpose in your life, make sure to make time for it,” he said, acknowledging that it is possible to find a healthy balance even in the hectic schedule of an ophthalmologist.

    “We work a lot,” he said, “ but always in life it’s about prioritizing and making time for those things that are important to you. For me, it’s been easy to merge those things and make it a hybrid.”

    Jolie Higazi
    Jolie is the Content Specialist for Ophthalmology Times. She can be reached at [email protected]

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