Know Your Heroes: Allan Slomovic

Name: Allan Slomovic
Title: Professor Ophthalmology and Clinician Investigator
Number of years working in health care: 35
I was born and raised in: Montreal

I decided to get into health care because it offers the perfect balance of intellectual stimulation and personal growth, while at the same time allowing one to make a positive impact in the community. I chose ophthalmology because it offers the perfect balance of medicine and surgery. It also has the ability to transform people’s lives by enabling them to see again.

My role throughout my career has always been about trying my best to teach people how to fish, whether that be with the ophthalmology residents in a classroom at the University of Toronto or on a surgical mission in Costa Rica.

Surgical mission in Costa Rica
Surgical mission in Costa Rica. (Photo: Dr. Allan Slomovic)

The thing I love the most about my job is for sure, the surgery. We are very fortunate in ophthalmology in that we have some of the most sophisticated instruments and operations in medicine. For example, laser surgery was first introduced in ophthalmology. Also it is such a pleasure and privilege to be a part of a team that helps patients to see again.

The most incredible thing I’ve seen at work is my first stem cell transplant patient. Shortly after the operation, the patient went from living with chronic pain and blindness to being pain free and driving without glasses. This story also inspired one of my wonderful patients to endow me with a Chair in Ophthalmology, for which I will be forever grateful.

I’m inspired by many of my patients. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to trust another person with one’s vision.

One of my personal heroes is my wife Rhona and my two daughters, Alana and Jacqueline, because they have taught me the true meaning of love and compassion.

I sometimes worry about the terrible state the world is in… the war in Ukraine, global warming, COVID-19, the buildup of nuclear weapons.

I’ve found joy recently from going for a very long ride on my e-bike.

My favourite book The Little Prince because everyone needs their own personal rose to look after.

My ideal day off is going for a long e-bike ride with my family in the summer along the Don Valley trails to the lakeshore (Martin Goodman Trail) and back.

How does it feel to be honoured through UHN Foundation’s Honour Your Hero? It is a tremendous honour, privilege and responsibility. It is at the same time humbling and enabling. I am forever grateful to my patients who place their trust in me and my team. By supporting UHN Foundation through Honour Your Hero they enable us to be at the forefront of excellence in clinical care, teaching and research.

By making a gift through Honour Your Hero, patients and their families have an opportunity to express gratitude and share a message of thanks with staff across Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals and Toronto Rehab for their care, compassion and support while also making a difference – now and in the future. 

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