- Why I became a refractive surgeon.
People choose their careers for a variety of reasons. For me, two things happened in my life that helped shape my decision to become a refractive eye surgeon. First, was my experience struggling with my own bad vision – nearsightedness and astigmatism – which I was diagnosed with as a kid.
My glasses got in the way of everything I liked to do as a kid, from running around outside, playing basketball with my dad, to swimming in the lake. Contacts were way better than my glasses, but like most college kids, I didn’t take care of them the way you should. I had laser vision correction done just after medical school during my service as a Captain in the military.
After having lived through the same vision frustrations that many of my patients tell me about, and seeing firsthand how refractive surgery can help restore people’s precious eyesight, I knew I wanted to become an eye surgeon. I was further inspired to become a refractive eye surgeon after hearing from military commanders that their laser refractive surgery program was one of the most important things the military did to gain a tactical advantage during combat.
- The most compelling thing I learned during my refractive residency/fellowship.
I did my fellowship in refractive eye surgery at the University of Texas, where I made an amazing discovery: every eye, and every person, provides a unique puzzle for me to solve. There are so many options in refractive surgery now that didn't exist when this sub-specialty of ophthalmology began about 25 years ago. Fitting the right procedure to the right anatomy and the specific need of the patient is extremely rewarding. I thoroughly enjoy working with my patients, listening to their needs and desires, examining their eye anatomy in micron-level detail, and then putting that puzzle together to develop a customized plan to get them out of their contacts and glasses, in most cases, for good.
- I do cataract surgery mission work every year.
I made several trips to the eye doctor growing up and I truly appreciated what my eye doctors did for me as a young patient. I also admired the many ways in which they gave back to the community. They sponsored little league teams and went on medical mission trips to parts of the world where access to good eye care was limited. They were my role models.
I decided to follow in their footsteps and volunteered to go on a medical cataract surgery mission in Mexico when I was a sophomore in college. People in that small village had very little means and no doctors to care for them, which meant cataracts caused severe (but curable) blindness. People stood in line for days for the team's services. I'll never forget one particular patient, a grandmother whom we operated on. Like many of the patients, she came with several family members to assist and support her throughout the journey. The morning after her surgery, we removed her eye patch and she got to see her grandchildren for the very first time. She had heard them speak, held their hands, kissed their cheeks, but had never seen what their faces looked like until that moment. After that experience, I was hooked. I love what I do, and thanks to a team of like-minded volunteers, I'm still blessed to be able to do similar mission work every year, only now as a full-fledged eye surgeon.
- Friday is the best day of my week.
Fridays are my favorite day because it’s post-op day! Thursday is typically our surgery day for both cataract and LASIK surgeries. This is the day of celebration. I often ask, and love to hear people tell me, what they can do now that they couldn't do before their procedure. It is a fantastic way for me, and my whole team, to end our week.
Want to know more about me and the team? Stop by our office! Give us a call at 210-428-6788 or schedule an appointment online now.