I'm not sure why I seem to be bursting upon the national scene at the moment. There was the recent interview by Ophthalmology Times, and now this piece that appears in Retinal Physician. There is also an upcoming story in Ophthalmology Management.
I'm trying to raise some money for a scholarship fund at Brilliant Star School, to allow low income children on Saipan to attend the school, so I'm hoping that the stories will lead to some benefactors. In any event, it seems to be my fifteen minutes of pseudo-fame. I can't say "fame," because, after all, these may be international magazines, but really, they're ophthalmology publications. In the Retinal Physician magazine, I'm wedged between stories titled "Antecortave Acetate Has New Target" and "OPKO Gets Key Patent for siRNA Drugs." The subtitle of the second piece is -- and I'm not making this up -- "But Controversy Erupts Over siRNA Concept." That context very nicely sums up the level of my fame.
I recently found out that the title of the story is a play on words from a 1970's sitcom called "Our Man in Rataan" about a journalist assigned to a god-forsaken post at the ends of the earth.
The best part of the story is where they refer to Marianas Eye Institute as "one of the best-equipped eyecare practices in the Asia-Pacific region." That's something Saipan can be proud of.
Dr. Khorram Finds His Tropical Island
David Khorram, MD, who received his retina training during residency at Northwestern University under Lee Jampol, MD, is the only ophthalmologist on the Pacific island of Saipan. Dr. Khorram passed up a retina fellowship because he wanted to practice in a part of the world that had a great need for an ophthalmologist. After doing some research, he chose the Pacific islands, and after a year practicing in American Samoa, he made his way to Saipan.
Over the course of the past 15 years, Dr. Khorram has built the Marianas Eye Institute into one of the best-equipped eyecare practices in the Asia-Pacific region, providing a wide range of both retina and general ophthalmology procedures.
He is also active in civic activities on the island, writing a weekly newspaper column and organizing a national soccer team [I think this is a reference to being a founding board member of NMIFA]. He recently published a collection of his columns in a book titled, "World Peace, a Blind Wife, and Gecko Tails" (available through Amazon.com). Dr. Khorram and his wife, Mara, have four children ages 3, 5, 7 and 9.
Dr. Khorram reports that he sees "a ton" of diabetes-related eyecare problems but almost no cases of macular degeneration, which he attributes to the island's relatively young population as well as genetic factors.
Saipan, which is located about 120 miles north of Guam, is the capital of the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and has a population of approximately 60,000, many of whom are contract workers and not permanent residents.
The island was the site of fierce fighting in World War II as the United States established a base on Saipan for B-29 bombers that could reach the home islands of Japan.