End of an era: new beginnings

Auckland-based Retina Specialists co-founder and macular disease specialist Dr Dianne Sharp is retiring and handing the reins to new Retina Specialists’ director Dr Leo Sheck.


Dr Sheck joined the team as an associate in 2019 and said he’s extremely pleased to be stepping up as a director. “It is an honour to carry on the legacy of Dr Sharp. She always envisioned that Retina Specialists would be the premier medical retina practice in New Zealand and I will endeavour to do my very best to build on that.”


Retina Specialists was founded in October 2003 by Dr Sharp, her husband Dr Ian Elliott and Dr Rachel Barnes, after Dr Barnes returned from her medical retina fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. In 2012, Associate Professor Andrea Vincent took over Dr Elliott’s practice and directorship when he retired, adding expertise in genetic eye diseases and paediatric ophthalmology to the team. Drs Narme Deva and Monika Pradhan are also associates with the practice.


The team are all specialists in medical retina and Dr Sheck also brings knowledge in electrodiagnostics (another passion of Dr Sharp’s), genetics and cataract surgery. “There are differences in our experience and training, so our skill sets complement each other. Given our specialised nature, we often receive tertiary referrals on difficult cases. Having different subspecialists in the same field allows us to discuss these cases and come up with the best treatment for our patients.”


As part of his commitment to Retina Specialists’ future, Dr Sheck has overhauled the company’s online presence, building a new website and developing new online education material, which he said he hopes to share shortly. He also plans to continue to support Macular Degeneration New Zealand (MDNZ), which was founded by Dr Sharp.


“While we will miss Dianne, who has been a stalwart of the medical retina community in Australasia, we could not have hoped for a better person to take up her practice than Leo,” said Dr Barnes. “Leo shares Dianne’s boundless energy and enthusiasm, and his commitment to excellent, patient-focused care make him a perfect fit.”


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