Eyes on the Prize

Article by Gabrielle Lewis

Photography by Edison Manalo Poemtography

Originally published in Columbia Lifestyle

Dr. Olga Shif is originally from the country of Belarus. Immigrating with her family to the United States in 1995, Dr. Shif spent her adolescent years in Pennsylvania. After completing high school, she attended the private institution of Acadia University, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Chemistry. Although Dr. Shif had an interest in medicine from an early age, she initially thought her career would lead her to pediatric medicine. However, while attending medical school at Jefferson Medical College (now named Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University) Dr. Shif witnessed various eye procedures, including surgical procedures concerning the retina. This ignited a passion, and Dr. Shif continued her education by conducting research at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, one of the best eye hospitals in the nation. Dr. Shif spent a year researching glaucoma patients and how the disease is detected through the retina and affects the eyes. After becoming engaged, Dr. Shif moved to the Baltimore area and began a medical fellowship at Sinai Hospital. Completing a year of research, Dr. Shif then transferred and continued her fellowship at the National Retina Institute, later expanding the practice to the Columbia area and becoming the attending physician at this location. “The path to where I am wasn’t straight or smooth,” said Dr. Shif. “But it gave me more experience and knowledge in the long run and has allowed for the life I have now. Literally looking into patients' eyes to gauge their health and help them live their best life makes every day at the practice worth it.” In her spare time, Dr. Shif enjoys conducting more research on vision retention, spending time with her family and indulging in Game of Thrones. She is fluent in Spanish, Russian, and English, and caters to a wide variety of patients throughout the Maryland area. In the future, Dr. Shif is looking forward to conducting more retina studies, particularly dealing with diseases such as diabetes or macular degeneration. Wanting to develop more preventative measures against ocular damage, the National Retina Institute is always striving to create more extensive eye testing to catch and treat diseases early in the progression and helping patients maintain their overall health.

Recipe: Smoked salmon salad with blueberry vinaigrette

Smoked salmon salad with grilled fennel and fresh blueberries, drizzled with blueberry vinaigrette. This sweet vinaigrette is the perfect match with the salty salmon, that combo makes the salad divine.
For the dressing, use Belgian blueberry stroop, but you can use marmalade or some thick blueberry syrup. 


300 g mixed salad with radicchio
20 cherry tomatoes
1/2 cucumber
1/2 fennel
1 red onion
400 g smoked salmon
6 tablespoons blueberries
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
chopped parsley
4 tablespoons walnuts


8 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons blueberry stroop
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, chopped


Step One: Cut the fennel into thin slices and bake it with oil in a hot grill pan until tender, season with salt and pepper.

Step Two: Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, slice the cucumber and onion.

Step Three: Cut the salmon into strips.

Step 4:To make the vinaigrette, just whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Step 5: Arrange the salad on the plates, add the chopped vegetables and salmon. Then garnish with fresh blueberries, walnuts, and chopped parsley. Serve with blueberry vinaigrette. Enjoy!

From the Website: Serving Dumplings by Anna

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