Dr Sarah Welch
MBChB, BMedSci, FRANZCO
MBChB, BMedSci, FRANZCO
Medical Retina Specialist
Cataract and Medical Retina fellow, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital
Vitreo-retinal and medical retina fellow, Sussex Eye Hospital, Brighton
Vitreo-retinal fellow, Western Eye Hospital, London
Sarah took a circuitous route to ophthalmology, initially studying maths at Victoria University in Wellington. On completion of her maths degree she spent a few years training and working in film as an assistant editor. She then took another career turn and went to medical school in Otago and completed her clinical years in 1997 in Wellington through the Otago Medical School. During her time in Wellington she also completed a one year research degree in public health. Sarah then moved to Auckland Hospital as a junior doctor and spent a three month rotation in ophthalmology - she fell in love with the specialty and has been working in ophthalmology ever since.
After spending time in Auckland and Waikato as an ophthalmology registrar, Sarah went to the UK to complete her subspecialty training. In 2006 she spent six months in Exeter at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital training in cataract surgery and medical retina. She then moved to the Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton specialising in vitreo-retinal surgery and medical retina. After a year there, she spent her final training year at the Western Eye Hospital in London for vitreo-retinal surgical training.
Sarah then returned to Auckland at the beginning of 2009 to work at Greenlane Clinical Centre as a consultant ophthalmologist specialising in medical and surgical retina. Sarah has a strong commitment to the public eye department, being the current Clinical Director of Ophthalmology as well as consulting at Auckland Eye.
As well as her adult retinal work Sarah has an interest in retinal problems of childhood and is involved in the screening programme for Retinopathy of Prematurity at Auckland City Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She is a member of a number of ophthalmological societies including Oceania Retina Association, and the American Society of Retina Specialists. Sarah has a commitment to teaching and spends time with junior ophthalmologists and undergraduate students. She is a Senior Lecturer for the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Auckland. She has just completed a study examining the undergraduate teaching of ophthalmology for medical students in the UK.
Sarah really enjoys the mix of public and private work and the challenge of working in different environments, but most of all enjoys working with individual patients to manage or cure their eye problems. Outside her working life, Sarah continues her interest in film, but these days it tends to be children's cinema, with her young son Thomas.