• Recipient of the Dalai Lama’s 2009 “Unsung Hero of Compassion” award
• Discusses overcoming formidable challenges and developing world-changing ideas
Dr. Tabin is the fourth person in the world to reach the tallest peak on each of the seven continents. His passion for mountain climbing directed him to his professional career in eye care. After summiting Mt. Everest, on one of his expeditions, he came across a Dutch team performing cataract surgery on a woman who had been needlessly blind for three years. It was then he understood his life calling.
Tabin graduated from Yale University and then earned an MA in Philosophy at Oxford University on a Marshall Scholarship. From there, he took his interest in moral philosophy and health care delivery to Harvard Medical School where he earned his MD in 1985. After completing an ophthalmology residency at Brown University and a fellowship in corneal surgery in Melbourne, Australia, Dr. Tabin returned to Nepal to work with Dr. Sanduk Ruit.
Tabin and Nepalese eye surgeon Dr. Sanduk Ruit established the Himalayan Cataract Project in 1995 – with a vow to work to eliminate all preventable and treatable blindness from the Himalayan region in their lifetime, a goal, in Tabin’s words, “more audacious than setting out to make the first assent of the East Face of Mount Everest.” Dr. Ruit, whom the Associated Press heralded as the “god of sight” to the world’s poor, and Tabin have proven that hospital quality standards can be applied in impoverished areas devoid of electricity and clean water. Their successful approach to restoring sight and dogged perseverance has made possible what 20 years ago seemed impossible.
The Himalayan Cataract Project has since expanded beyond the Himalayas to encompass Sub-Saharan Africa as well. Dr.Tabin spends a considerable part of the year working abroad throughout the Himalayas and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Tabin is a leader in both the national and international ophthalmic community. He is a member of the International Education Committee for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and teaches a course on cataract surgery at both the AAO and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS).
The inspiring and extraordinary work of HCP Co-Founders Tabin and Ruit is the subject of the book by David Oliver Relin, SecondSuns: Two Doctors and Their Amazing Quest to Restore Sight and Save Lives (Random House).
- Building a Global Vision: How to Reimagine Problems and Create World-Changing Solutions
When Dr. Geoff Tabin first co-founded the Himalayan Cataract Project, his goal of eliminating all preventable and treatable blindness from the Himalayan region in his lifetime seemed as unlikely as his first ascent of Mount Everest. Now, his goal of scaling his team’s methodology to treat curable blindness across the globe seems just as audacious. But, as Dr. Tabin explains in this moving and motivating presentation, we are living in an era when formerly-unsolvable problems can be remedied with the right mix of innovation and determination.
With this talk, Dr. Tabin explores how to turn passion and imagination into a world-changing business model, what to do when you’re up against insurmountable odds, and when to persevere and when to pivot in order to create a global movement. A fascinating look at an innovator’s life, this talk is a fantastic option for any group looking to motivate and inspire new ideas and a reinvigorated work ethic within its ranks.
- Impossible Dreams: The First Ascent of the East Face of Mt. Everest and Eradicating World Blindness
Here Dr. Tabin looks at two distinct yet parallel feats in his life: Becoming the first person to ascend the East Face of Everest, and his work with the Himalayan Cataract Project. A customizable look at tackling “impossible” problems, Dr. Tabin discusses how to face the unknown and feel comfortable taking on challenges when success is not guaranteed. With incredible stories of determination and calculated risk from his adventures around the world, Dr. Tabin relates his ascent of Mount Everest and work to eradicate global blindness to any group facing audacious goals, and motivates audiences to push past the limits of what they think is possible.
- Seven Summits: Adventures on the Seven Continents
Packed with funny, off-the-wall mountaineering stories, this talk is all about the difference between doing something and really experiencing it. Dr. Tabin shares stunning visuals and anecdotes from his climbs across the globe and discusses how he threw himself whole-heartedly into his dreams in order to make them a reality. An honest look at how to take on big challenges and push aside self-doubt, Dr. Tabin lights up rooms as he talks about his passion for climbing and encourages audiences to live their fullest lives as well.