Dr. C. J. Chen is an avid photographer and travel buff.
He has a room outfitted with an elaborate stereo system where he spends time outside work listening to classical music, and he and his wife Lin have enjoyed ballroom dancing, the symphony, ballet and opera for years. They love visiting with their three children, all physicians living out of state, and six grandchildren.
So when Chen steps down as chair of the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Department of Ophthalmology, a duty he's had the last 15 of his 36 years on the faculty, does that give him more leisure time?
"I'm not retiring," laughs Chen, who will remain a full-time faculty member after Dr. Kimberly Crowder, associate professor of ophthalmology and director of the ophthalmology residency program, becomes chair in July.
"His work ethic is unsurpassed," Crowder said. "He's always thinking, and always working, and he always puts the needs of the department before his own needs. That's a great aspect of a leader."
Many current and former patients owe their sight to Chen, a native of Taiwan and one of the world's premier experts in surgical management of vitreoretinal diseases, especially those related to diabetes, ocular trauma and complicated retinal detachment. Since he arrived at the Medical Center in 1979 as an assistant professor of surgery, his department has been the beneficiary of his passion for research to improve treatment and patient outcomes, and his commitment to raising the bar on standards of care.