Dr Fern graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1981 and completed his basic and higher surgical training in the Southern General Hospital and the Tennent Institute of Ophthalmology, Glasgow. He was appointed Consultant Ophthalmologist in NHS Lanarkshire since 1981, and is now the senior consultant at Hairmyres.
Dr Fern is the Honorary Exam Registrar and Senior Examiner for Ophthalmology at the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons, Glasgow, and is also a member of the Ophthalmology Sub-committee at this Royal College. He is the Past Secretary and current Vice President of the Scottish Ophthalmologists Club and an examiner for the FRCS and FRCOphth.
For many years he lectured to the optometry school in the Faculty of Visual Sciences, and remains an Honorary Clinical Tutor in the optometry department.
Dr Fern is recognised within Lanarkshire for his expertise in cataract and anterior segment problems and receives referrals locally from his colleagues within the Eye Unit for complex corneal and cataract cases. Despite this complex workload his audited surgical results remain above the Royal College of Ophthalmologists recommended guidelines. He continues to teach advanced cataract surgery to trainee ophthalmologists on the West of Scotland Ophthalmic training scheme.