Inspiration and Experience: An Interview with Dr. Mona Harissi-Dagher
On March 8th, International Women’s Day is celebrated around the globe to champion the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. It was first held in 1911. To mark this special day, we sat down with LASIK MD surgeon Dr. Mona Harissi-Dagher, to talk to her about working in medicine, a field which is no longer dominated by men like it once was. She also shares who inspired her to enter such a profession.
Dr. Harissi-Dagher is one of the most experienced refractive surgeons at LASIK MD. She attended McGill University in Montreal where she received the Hilda Diana Oakley scholarship for her ranking as the top female student at McGill. After completing her medical degree at Université de Montréal, she was accepted into the prestigious Harvard Medical School for a post-doctoral fellowship in cornea, external eye diseases and refractive surgery. She is a veteran surgeon with LASIK MD, and renowned in North America for her work in the field of ophthalmology. Without further ado, we bring you our conversation with Dr. Harissi-Dagher.
LASIK MD: Were there any women who inspired you growing up?
Dr. Harissi-Dagher: My mom inspired me a great deal. She taught me to be independent, to aim higher and persevere. She was a great example having gone through law school, raised five children while working full time. A true inspirationand a great role model. I’m grateful for all the advice she gave me.
LMD: What advice would you give to women who want to be in a medical profession?
Dr. Harissi-Dagher: Women in the medical profession are nowadays outnumbering men. And we ought to be proud of that! My advice is to believe in yourself, in your abilities and your intelligence. Always remember that your work can change lives. Be humble. Be caring to your patients and their family.
LMD: What general advice would you give young female professionals?
Dr. Harissi-Dagher: My advice is to believe in yourself. Work hard, and you can achieve your goals!
LMD: Growing up, did you always want to be a doctor?
Dr. Harissi-Dagher: Yes, I definitely did!
LMD: Why did you have such a strong interest in becoming a doctor?
Dr. Harissi-Dagher: I was fascinated by medicine; I was curious to learn more about the human body, about diseases and how to cure them. I wanted to help patients, improve their health and their quality of life.
LMD: So, why specialize in ophthalmology?
Dr. Harissi-Dagher: I fell in love with Ophthalmology during a medical rotation. I thought the surgeries were so captivating, so meticulous, so delicate, so precise. It reflected my personality. The results of the surgeries were also very gratifying. Patients were happy with their results, happy to recover vision and be able to see again!
LMD: What is your favourite part of performing laser eye surgery?
Dr. Harissi-Dagher: Laser eye surgery is a passion for me. I enjoy operating tremendously. My favourite part is knowing that patients are satisfied with the results and enjoying freedom from glasses! I love it when a patient says ‘Doctor Harissi-Dagher, you changed my life!’ It’s very rewarding professionally to know that I can make a difference!