NANOS Heroes - Dr. Valerie Biousse, MD
VOLUNTEER CORNER - NANOS HEROES
Meet our July hero and NANOS 2020-2022 President, Dr. Valerie Biousse!
DR. VALERIE BIOUSSE, NANOS AMBASSADOR AND NANOS PRESIDENT
Valerie Biousse, MD, NANOS President
Ophthalmology or Neurology? Both! Board certified in Neurology in France and then in Ophthalmology in the US
What was the best clinical pearl you learned in fellowship?
Do not trust the referring provider’s diagnosis and do not take short cuts; remain open minded and avoid premature closure by performing a thorough clinical evaluation instead of assuming a specific diagnosis.
What are the top 3 things you’ve learned over the last 5 years?
1) Don’t miss opportunities! Avoid backlog to always be available for new adventures
2) Spend more time listening to trainees and colleagues, and hear their concerns
3) Be flexible and creative to be most efficient and spare time for yourself: multitasking is the key to happiness!
Tell us about your involvement with NANOS!
My involvement with NANOS coincided with the development and expansion of NOVEL with which I became deeply involved. Leading the first NANOS Curriculum and participating in the original Illustrated Curriculum were the logical next steps and allowed me to become a NANOS Board member 11 years ago. It took me about 2 years to understand the role of the Board and feel confident enough to start contributing. It has been a joy to learn from friends and mentors. Over the years, I have been involved with many committees and taskforces; I have taken initiatives and I have explored way beyond my comfort zone. I have never seen NANOS as an organization that takes my time away, but rather as a source of professional and personal enrichment; NANOS has given me much more than I can express.
What would you say to members who want to be more involved in NANOS?
Just do it! You will be [pleasantly] surprised by the organization. There is no way to know what you will like until you do it, so volunteer for everything and learn what is necessary. Working for NANOS has very little in common with our everyday activities. Imagine working with your [best] friends, in a welcoming environment with the greatest staff support! We look small from the outside but so much is going on. I have learned enormously from my colleagues on various committees and on the NANOS Board. Working for NANOS has allowed me to grow professionally and has given me opportunities which have greatly contributed to my academic career. Most of my current best friends are NANOS members; I met them on committees. Join us – it will be fun!
What do you know at this stage in your career that you wish you knew when you first joined NANOS?
I had never really thought much about how large professional organizations function. Annual conferences happen each year, bacon appears on the breakfast buffet, educational material is produced, advocacy efforts are highlighted, coding and billing rules are explained, material is published, universities and chairs are informed, international organizations interact with each other, the list could go on and on… there is an army of NANOS members and staff who make this happen. I had no idea and I just took everything for granted: I paid my dues, showed up, and enjoyed (or complained). It took me years to realize that I could be part of this, that I could have a voice and influence the way our organization functions. You do not have to be old or filled with experience to volunteer. Be curious and explore the backstage. But be ready to work hard at something you enjoy and, in turn, get a great deal of personal satisfaction back.