After years of study, training and vast experience Dr Vivek Pandya travels to his hometown to treat patients, helping fill a much needed demand for specialist eye care.
Dr Vivek Pandya specialises in both surgical and medical ophthalmology as a vitreoretinal surgeon and macula specialist with expertise in surgical retinal conditions, medical retinal diseases and complex cataract surgery.
The son of well-known Dubbo medical professionals Bharat and Rajal Pandya, began returning to his hometown in 2015 and 2016 to treat ophthalmic patients.
He pursued further training overseas in 2017 but has been performing surgery and seeing patients over two days a month in 2018.
Dr Pandya said he would continue to return in the future.
He and twin sister Vihari were born in Dubbo and attended Orana Heights Public School before completing secondary studies at Dubbo South High.
“I grew up in Dubbo and I think the thing I always noticed was that there was a lack of services in the country,” Dr Pandya said.
He said when he was completing his surgical training he thought, “I’m going to end up in Sydney because that’s where life has ended up but I wanted to figure out a way to come back and contribute”.
He said it was important to him to give back to the community where he was raised.
“Certainly in eye care, fixing people’s vision and allowing people to see has a massive impact on people’s lives,” Dr Pandya said.
“I’ve got a good team working with me here, we definitely need more.
“At least now that I’m back I can start to improve the process.”
He said there was a demand for medical specialist in the region.
“It’s not just in Dubbo, we have patients from all over the place, Coonamble, Gilgandra and even as far as Bourke … I get people coming from Lightow, Orange and Forbes,” Dr Pandya said.
He said the sense of community out west helped spread knowledge about what services were available.
“It’s community, so people know each other, you’ll have someone from Gilgandra talking to their mate over on the farm in Coonamble and they all sort of talk and say, ‘you can go and get your eye fixed up in Dubbo’,” Dr Pandya said.
“It’s that word of mouth and being involved in the community that makes a difference.”
He graduated with honours from the University of New South Wales Medical School with degrees in science, medicine and surgery.
The former resident has gained a Masters in Ophthalmic Science, two fellowships among national and international experience.