FEB 2014

EyeWorld is the official news magazine of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.

Issue link: https://digital.eyeworld.org/i/274531

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by Erin L. Boyle EyeWorld Senior Staff Writer Physician musician pursues music, medicine D an Reinstein, MD, MA(Cantab), FRCSC, DABO, FRCOphth, FEBO, London, had a cunning plan. He wanted to meet his heroes in the jazz music scene that he had spent years idolizing and learning from, but he was not sure that his musical talent could carry him into the heights of the musical world that he sought. He had wanted to be a doctor since he was a child, however. So he decided to form a "cunning plan." "My plan was to go to medical school and become an ophthalmolo- gist and then specialize in cornea, and then specialize in refractive surgery, and then invent a very ef- fective way of treating presbyopia," he said. "By then, all of my idols would be presbyopic and I could offer them presbyopic surgery so that I could get to know them and give something back to them." His cunning plan worked. Dr. Reinstein has met and treated a large number of jazz greats through his surgical practice, as well as played saxophone in venues around the world with many of them. At last year's European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons Congress in Amsterdam, he performed with a band that included the musical di- rector of Earth, Wind & Fire, a for- mer member of Janet Jackson's band and Michael Jackson's "This is It" band, Morris Pleasure. "He was with Michael Jackson at 1 in the morning when they fin- ished the rehearsal on the day that he died," Dr. Reinstein said. "That's Morris Pleasure. If you're on stage with Morris Pleasure, you automati- cally play five times better than you've ever played before." He has performed surgery on musicians including Mr. Pleasure, Chick Corea, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Steve Smith, Bill Evans, Randy Brecker, Béla Fleck, John McLaughlin, Robben Ford, and countless others. The word in the music world is spreading across dis- ciplines: He has helped Bonnie Tyler, Brian Bennet of the Shadows, and many others in the pop world, too. "I meet these musicians as their doctor and I give them this gift of sight," he said. "It makes me feel better for having only paid $15 for their record and then listening to it 200 times." His start Dr. Reinstein began playing piano at the age of 4. He switched to saxo- phone at 14. When his father's job took him to Europe, Dr. Reinstein was sent to boarding school in England. In the U.K.'s mid-1970s, his desire to learn jazz saxophone was not exactly embraced. "My piano teacher asked if I would like to start a second instru- ment, and I said yes, I'd love to start the saxophone," Dr. Reinstein said. "There was this big pause, and he s aid, 'I was asking if you wanted to start a second instrument,' so that didn't go very far—I nearly started the violin, but then I was saved by moving schools." His next school, a Quaker sec- ondary school, was more accepting of the saxophone: The music master, Peter Allwood, at Leighton Park S chool, thought it was a "splendid idea," he said. "In fact, it sparked a whole jazz culture at this school, which was the first secondary school in the U.K. to have started a jazz program," he said. A year later, Dr. Reinstein in- jured his back playing rugby and w as sent to an orthopedic surgeon for care. "I was told, 'By the way, he also plays jazz saxophone.' I was 15 and impressionable, but that was it, that was the moment I thought, this can be done," he said. That surgeon, Art Themen, MD, was a British jazz saxophonist who played throughout his medical career. Dr. Reinstein followed in his footsteps and pursued a medical degree at Cambridge University. There, Dr. Reinstein learned that a predecessor of his had taken a year off to study at Marcel Marceau's pantomime school in Paris. Dr. Reinstein took advantage of this precedent and applied for a year's deferment, leaving Cambridge to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston on a performance scholar- ship. After a year, he returned to med- ical school. But when he got back, he realized it didn't matter how long he was away from medical school. Whatever he learned was supposed to be "for life," so he saw another opportunity. "My personal tutor, David Rickards, MD, turned out to be a very cool radiologist who not only pioneered the field of urodynamics, but had also taken a year off during his medical training to sail around the horn of Africa," Dr. Reinstein said. "So I came into his office … and I said, 'Would it be possible to take another year off?'" His tutor wrote to the dean, the dean approved it, and Dr. Reinstein returned to Berklee for another in- tense year of jazz studies. After that year, he returned to England and finished his medical degree. M usic and medicine continued to lead him: He talked his way into an unpaid research fellowship at the Medical College of Cornell Univer- sity to be in New York—the mecca of jazz—so that he could continue to pursue both careers. He began his research career in high-frequency ultrasound, realizing that in vivo m easurements of the corneal epithe- lium had never been explored. He came to refractive surgery at the be- ginning of the 1990s, when there was a possibility for a young physi- cian to make an impact, he said. He also played gigs with bands and fellow Berklee musicians in New York clubs. I n 2001, he moved back to London to "pursue research and development with Carl Zeiss Meditec and start my practice, the London Vision Clinic, outside of the FDA's jurisdiction." Music's impact on medicine and vice versa Music helps him be a physician, while being a physician helps him be a musician, with the two forming a harmonious relationship, Dr. Reinstein said. "Music is the area where I go for my mind to disengage from the everyday technicalities of what's concerning me, what's stressing me," he said. "I can close my eyes, and I'm in another world. It's a dream world … It's about feelings. It's nothing about expressing con- crete data," he said. "On the other hand, the world of jazz improvisa- tion is a very technically challenging one that requires huge mental agility and clarity of thought that draws on thousands of hours of practice—all skills that directly apply to a scientific medical research envi- ronment." Ophthalmology has served him well, he said. In the end, it helped him achieve his "cunning plan." "It's a specialty where you be- come friends with your patients after you've operated on them," he said. "You haven't taken out their colon or cut out half of their brain. You don't end up going out to dinner with that type of patient afterward." EW Contact information Reinstein: dzr@londonvisionclinic.com Dan Reinstein, MD, has played saxophone in venues around the world. Source: Phil Carpenter 110 E W IN OTHER NEWS February 2014 110-112 ION_EW February 2014-DL2_Layout 1 1/30/14 3:08 PM Page 110

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