This short time has been more than enough to change and transform the lives of the thousands of patients who come to him and put their eyes in the capable hands of Dr. Juan. cataract and refractive surgery.
The cataract and refractive surgeries he performs require the support of a team of professionals he inspires, thanks to his altruistic spirit with which he leads medical projects in the Americas.
The 2020 Vista Foundation, a non-profit organization he chairs that aims to restore vision to people in need in developing countries, is an example of this work.
“We travel to perform surgeries, educate communities about eye health and donate glasses. We have performed cataract surgery in countries such as Haiti, Colombia and we conduct eye tests to diagnose and treat in time the diseases that affect our people the most. I feel this project is a way to give back all the opportunities life has given me,” the surgeon told DIARIO LAS AMÉRICAS.
After graduating from medical school at the Universidad El Bosque in Colombia, Juan Pablo Fernandez de Castro continued his studies at the University of Iowa, where he completed his studies in molecular ophthalmology and ophthalmology, before completing a residency in general surgery, and an ophthalmology residency at University of Louisville in Kentucky.
This preparation allowed him to stand out among Hispanic doctors for his extensive publications in scientific journals and as a professional awarded by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the American Medical Association, among others.
“I was born in Bogotá and did my undergraduate studies in Colombia. I don’t come from a family of doctors, but I have always enjoyed medicine and when I saw eye surgery for the first time at 22, I decided that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” he recalled.
“I was a good student, devoted myself a lot to my career and that enabled me to continue my studies abroad. But I have to admit that it was a long process and not without difficulties, as I had to accept the exam, take many tests and do scientific research for years. All this before applying for an ophthalmology residency in the US,” he said.
Undoubtedly an achievement for the Colombian doctor who decided to make Miami his home after traveling a large part of the country during his studies and training.
“The United States is a wonderful country, but Florida is the closest to Colombia, which is my country. Being in Miami, I am more connected to my culture, the climate, the food of the country and the most beautiful Latin people with whom I feel comfortable,” said the doctor, who assured that with discipline and focus, nothing is impossible.
“You have to have clear goals, if you know what your goal is, you will achieve it because the opportunities are there for those who want to learn and advance in any career.” We are Hispanic and should be proud to represent our culture in this great country. We must continue to improve, shine, and most importantly, not let our culture die and honor our identity,” he said.
Juan Pablo Fernandez de Castro warns that Hispanics are prone to certain eye diseases such as glaucoma, pterygium and have to deal with the damage that diabetes causes to the retina. And in that sense, he advised: “The most important thing is that your tests should be done often at the ophthalmologist. In this way, problems such as glaucoma, cataracts, hypertension can be detected early. If these diseases are not treated in time, they can cause blindness and that is what we want to avoid. However, it is advisable to change your glasses or glasses once a year.
He later added: “Cataract is a condition we will all suffer from and generally after the age of 65, cataract surgery is required. But be careful, this condition can also affect young people who have had a lot of exposure to the sun or have smoked from a young age,” said the doctor who performs more than 1,000 cataract operations annually.
“It’s the best part of the job, seeing my patients come back happy and with something special for me.” Some give me bottles of wine, some plastic artists have given me their paintings, but what moves me the most is seeing my humblest patients bring me bags of fruit. These details touch the soul because they have an emotional value that is immense,” he concluded.