Dr Divya Perumal – Meet The Visionaries

This week as part of our Meet the Visionaries series, we’d like to introduce you to Dr Divya Perumal who is a Glaucoma & Cataract Surgeon at Eye Institute. Read on below to find out more about Dr Divya Perumal:

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I believe that family time is the most important. I have a preschool toddler who preoccupies the bulk of my free time, and we usually spend the weekend doing a family activity such as visiting Auckland Zoo, swimming, spending time with our extended family and exploring the many fantastic playgrounds in Auckland!

What do you love the most about what you do?

Definitely, the patients that I meet and the people that I work with.As a glaucoma specialist, I get to know my patients well as it is a chronic, and thus ongoing condition.Many patients tell me about their family and their passions in life, and that inspires me to do my very best for them. As a cataract surgeon, I see the results of restoring vision almost instantaneously. I am so humbled by the trust that our patients place in us. They say that the eye is the window to ones’ soul, and we are certainly blessed with meeting some extraordinary people in what we do.

Do you have any pre-surgery rituals?

Yes, these ‘rituals’ start from the pre-assessment phase of a surgery, where I run through the entire procedure, the benefits and potential risks and desired outcomes. On the night before surgery, I rehearse the surgery in my mind and if it is a very difficult procedure, I also run through a dry lab session. On the day of surgery, I brief the surgical team thoroughly so that everyone is aware of my expectations so there are no surprises during the surgery. The best compliment that a patient can give me is that their surgery was ‘a piece of cake’ as that suggests that the weeks of planning has paid off!

Can you tell us something about you that people may not know?

I have an honours degree in optometry, which I had completed prior to embarking on a 13-year journey to becoming an ophthalmologist

My husband and I love travelling, and we travelled to over 23 countries during my extended glaucoma specialist training in the UK, which included Morocco, Turkey, Spain, Italy, France, Rome, Finland, Iceland and others

I understand three languages: Malay, English and Tamil

I am currently learning to play the ukulele, inspired by my recent travel to the Cook Islands

Are you currently working on any active research or article pieces?

My current research is centred around investigating the long-term effectiveness of different glaucoma procedures. I have been invited to speak at multiple meetings including the upcoming Glaucoma New Zealand Symposium and the annual New Zealand Association of Optometry conference, all of which are a huge honour.