EP: Leadership in Ophthalmology: Championing Women in the OR Part 1


Dr Lisa Nijm (host)
Dr. Lisa Nijm is a corneal, cataract, refractive surgeon, licensed attorney, & clinical professor at UIC Eye and Ear Infirmary. She serves as CEO of Women in Ophthalmology, where she has led the organization to exponential growth. Dr. Nijm has repeatedly been ranked as one of the most influential ophthalmologists worldwide, including The Ophthalmologist’s Power List, Newsweek’s America’s Best Ophthalmologists, and Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors.

Dr Stefanie Schmickler (guest)
Dr Stefanie Schmickler is a cataract and refractive surgeon and managing director of the Augen-Zentrum-Nordwest in Ahaus, Germany, one of the largest specialist clinics in the region with 11 locations and over 250 employees. Dr Schmickler is also editor of CONCEPT Ophthalmology and board member of OcuNet (www.ocunet.de).

Dr Josefina Botta (guest)
Dr Josefina Botta is an ophthalmologist at Consultorios Botta Ruiz in Buenos Aires, Argentina and an undergraduate and postgraduate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Buenos Aires and the University of Maimonides, specialising in Cornea and Anterior Segment.  She is also secretary of the Argentine Council of Ophthalmology and Vice president of the Argentine Society of Cornea, Refractive and Cataract surgery.


Dr Lisa Nijm (US), Dr Stefanie Schmickler (Germany) and Dr Josefina Botta (Argentina) explore female leadership in ophthalmology and championing women in the operating room. Together, they share their leadership journeys, offer advice about growing a business, and also discuss the skill sets required for being a successful surgeon.

Key Takeaways:

  • It is important to elevate the patient experience as much as possible so that when they come out of their cataract journey, not only do patients have great vision but they also feel that they’ve been well taken care of as a person.
  • In the age of digital marketing, it is important to communicate with patients through social media.
  • Manufacturers have an important role in bringing surgeons together so that they can network and share information.
  • The pandemic has led to a new hybrid approach to learning and networking. There are some intangibles that happen when you’re in person with other like-minded surgeons, but it is also valuable to have information quickly online and to be able to connect with surgeons from all over the world at all times.


Connect with Dr Nijm, Dr Schmickler and Dr Botta:

Dr Nijm on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter:

Dr Schmickler on LinkedIn and Instagram:

Dr Botta on Instagram and LinkedIn: