NANOS heroes - Dr. Victoria Pelak

VOLUNTEER CORNER - NANOS HEROES

Meet our November hero and NANOS 2022 Merit Award recipient, Dr. Victoria Pelak. 

DR. VICTORIA PELAK

Victoria Pelak, MD 

Ophthalmology or Neurology?  Neurology

What was the best clinical pearl you learned in fellowship?   Learn the patterns. Pattern recognition plays a critical role in accurate localization and proper diagnosis.

What are the top 3 things you’ve learned over the last 5 years/or since leaving fellowship?  

  1. Be humble and listen. All of us have something to learn from patients, trainees, staff, and the human condition when confronted with illness. 
  2. Follow patients appropriately throughout their clinical course. There are no better lessons for the physician than those realized while providing continuity of care to a patient during the course of their neuro-ophthalmic illness. 
  3. Learn to recognize which patients need you to lead by their side and which need you to lead in front. 

Please tell us about your involvement with NANOS (how did you become interested, decide to volunteer, has it been rewarding/beneficial?).  It was clear at my first NANOS meeting that NANOS is an organization led by people who truly care about NANOS members. I started by attending WIN meetings, and then I became involved in NOVEL and thoroughly enjoyed the work and engagement. What I do on NANOS committees always feels meaningful and ends up being the work that I look forward to the most and most often energizes me. 

What would you say to members who want to be more involved in NANOS?  Send an email to a NANOS colleague or a NANOS committee chair expressing your interests. Look out for emails asking you to volunteer. You will not be disappointed. Everyone understands what it is like being squeezed for time, and NANOS leaders will know how to best to utilize your talents and available time.

What do you know at this stage in your career that you wish you knew when you first joined NANOS? I would need to write a book to document all of that, but what I might tell my younger self is to take risks by volunteering and making suggestions, because NANOS cares about and listens to its members. We all have something unique to offer.

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Attention future neuro-ophthalmologists! Applications for 2024-25 neuro-ophthalmology fellowship positions will be coordinated through the SF-Match Ophthalmology Fellowship match.