Dr. Borja Corcóstegui, founder and medical director of IMO, became a permanent member of the Reial Acadèmia de Medicina de Catalunya (RAMC) in a public and extraordinary meeting celebrated on Sunday 28th May. Around 180 people attended the event, which was chaired by the doctors Josep A. Bombí and Jordi Palés, president and general secretary of the RAMC, respectively, accompanied by Xavier Trias, former Minister of Health of the Government de Catalonia.
During the ceremony, the ophthalmologist read his speech “Retinal Detachment”. Professor Antoni Bayés de Luna, also a permanent member of the RAMC, followed him with his speech of response “Myths and facts”. With his entry, Dr. Corcóstegui occupies de chair that until now belonged to Josep Traserra, professor of otorhinolaryngology and emeritus member of the institution. The RAMC, which consists of 60 permanent members elected by vote among the own members, recognises his contribution to Catalan medicine as worldwide reference in vitreoretinal surgery.
The ophthalmologist, who entered in the Reial Acadèmia de Medicina for the first time in 2009 as Corresponding Academician and was elected by vote as a numerary member in April 2016, expressed in many occasions his admiration for Catalan medicine. For this reason, despite his Basque origin, he decided to settle in Barcelona, where he developed his entire medical career and he made outstanding contributions with an international focus. Evidence of this is the recognition as an honorary member of the Catalan Society of Ophthalmology in 2015.
About Borja Corcóstegui
Borja Corcóstegui Guraya was born in San Sebastián, into a family from Bilbao whose dedication to medicine and ophthalmology dates back to the beginning of the 19th century. He studied Medicine in the University of Zaragoza in 1974 and travelled to Barcelona to perform the specialty in Vall D'Hebron Hospital and, in 1979, he obtained the ophthalmologist degree by the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Afterwards, he started his specialization in vitreoretinal diseases visiting hospitals in London, Philadelphia and New York, where he worked with one of the pioneers in the field of retinal diseases.
In parallel with his trajectory in the service of Ophthalmology of the Vall D'Hebron Hospital, which ended up managing in 1991, he started his incursion in the private medicine founding, along with other colleagues, The Centre of Retina and Vitreous. In 1994, after the gradual incorporation of the best professionals in the different ophthalmological subspecialities, it became the current IMO, the only ophthalmology centre of Catalonia holding the prestigious Quality Seal of the Joint Comission International.
Dr. Corcóstegui is a member of several national and international societies, as the Retina and Vitreous Spanish Society or the European Society of Retina Specialists (EURETINA), from which he has been the vice president and president. He possesses more than a dozen prizes and recognitions, related with his activity and contributions in the retinal detachment, and in 2010 he became the first Spanish to join as an honorary member of the Retina Society, one of the oldest and prestigious Ophthalmological societies in the world, according to which Dr. Corcóstegui is “a great master and friend of many people, as well as a role model in the worldwide Ophthalmology”. The same year he won the Senior Achievement Award, from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and in 2012 he received one of the most recognized worldwide retinal awards, the Stanley Chang, MD Lectureship, granted by the Columbia University.
With his productive publishing activity as an author of multiple articles and specialized books and editor in chief of the Ophthalmic Research, his contribution to Ophthalmology is wide and valuable. He was one of the few ophthalmologists of the world that, 25 years ago, started to perform outpatient surgery in ophthalmology, a practice that then was criticized and that is currently being performed in almost all centres. In the 1990s, he introduced in Europe the liquid perfluorocarbons (PFCL), transparent synthetic substances with an elevated specific weight that marked a turning point in the vitreoretinal surgery and that represented a milestone in the intraoperative handling of complicated cases.
His extensive knowledge and commitment to retina allow him to tackle successfully surgeries with a high level of difficulty, performed by specialists, as the scleral surgery for the handling of retinal detachments. At the same time, he works actively in the research field, which considers “the leitmotif of the ophthalmology”, cooperating in national and international studies together with his colleagues from IMO and engaging as the main researcher in the development of a new model of chip of retina developed by Pixium Vision.
Furthermore, the ophthalmologist is the co-founder and vice president of the Eyes of the World Foundation and promoter and honorary president of IMO Foundation, an entity that since 2010 is dedicated to research, teaching, prevention and social action related to ocular health. He is also co-founder and scientist director of the European School for Advanced Studies in Ophthalmology (ESASO), where he works as a teacher. In the training area, he directed many doctoral theses and he practised as an associate teacher and as a professor of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, in addition to being holder of the Institute of Ocular Microsurgery chair at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, with which IMO carried out six Master courses and three postgraduate degrees.