BCMS Medical Record Fall 2020 - 53

child, and once told an older relative that
I wanted to be a pianist. She told me very
sternly that music was a hobby and I had
better think about a "real" profession. Years
later, I told my parents I liked writing, and
they gently told me that was something
I could do in my spare time. Eventually,
after years of training in dentistry, public

health and medicine, I finally returned to
those childhood interests. I play several
musical instruments, and except for the
piano, I learned them as an adult and was
mostly self-taught. I have also been doing
quite a bit of narrative writing as well and
was founding editor of Black Diamonds
(a literary journal) while at the Geisinger

Commonwealth School of Medicine.
Photography is another interest I
discovered as an adult and I have been able
to combine my interests in writing and
photography in the form of photobooks,
one on Scranton, where I used to live, and
one on butterflies.

Michael Smith, MD
our society.
To get to know Dr. Smith a little
better, we asked him to respond to a few
questions:
Describe the focus of your practice
and any areas of special interest/
expertise.

M

ichael Smith, MD, is a BoardCertified Ophthalmologist
specializing in the medical
and surgical treatment of Glaucoma and
Cataracts. He joined Eye Consultants of
Pennsylvania in July 2020. After earning
his M.D. degree from Thomas Jefferson
University in 2009 on an Armed Forces
Health Professions Scholarship, Dr. Smith
completed a Transitional Internship at
Walter Reed Army Medical Center and his
ophthalmology residency at the National
Capital Consortium (Walter Reed) in
Bethesda, MD. He then trained as a
Glaucoma Fellow at Bascom Palmer Eye
Institute in Miami, FL before returning
to Walter Reed, where he served as the
Ophthalmology Residency Program
Director and was appointed as Assistant
Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed
Services University in Bethesda, MD.
Dr. Smith completed his military career
as a Glaucoma Specialist at Ft. Belvoir,
Virginia.
We are fortunate to now have the
benefits of Dr. Smith's expertise available
to our community. The Berks County
Medical Society welcomes his support of
our profession through his membership in

I am an ophthalmologist with
fellowship training in glaucoma. My
practice largely involves medical and
surgical management of the disease to
include office-based laser procedures.
I also regularly perform cataract surgery.
I am especially interested in the field of
minimally invasive glaucoma surgery
(MiGS) which are newer surgical
treatments that are a promising and
effective way to control glaucoma. These
surgeries are safer and allow patients a
faster visual recovery than prior glaucoma
surgeries.
What has brought you to Berks
County?
After 11 years in the Army with stops
across the country, my wife and I looked
forward to the opportunity to control
where we could put down roots. She
is from Collegeville, PA, so when the
chance arose to join Eye Consultants of
Pennsylvania, we were thrilled. We quickly
fell in love with the Wyomissing area, the
shops and restaurants along Penn Ave. in
West Reading, and the nearby outdoor
activities. Berks County and Wyomissing
seem like a great place to raise our family
and we are excited to begin the next
chapter of our lives here.
What do you find most rewarding
about being a physician?
The most rewarding aspect of being
a glaucoma specialist is the patient
relationships that you build. Glaucoma
is a chronic disease that requires regular
monitoring over a lifetime to avoid
permanent vision loss. Patients value their
eyesight and are incredibly appreciative
of the efforts you put towards preserving

it. Vision is critical to maintaining the
independent lifestyle that most of us
value. In a similar manner, nothing beats
the moment a patient sees for the first
time after a dense cataract is removed. It
is a life-altering event for them and is a
moment I am always proud to be a part of.
If you could change one thing about
the current practice environment,
what would it be?
Other than during my fellowship,
I have solely practiced medicine in the
military so I do not have much for
comparison. Military medicine is different
in that insurance, reimbursement, drug
coverage etc. are non-issues and access to
care for beneficiaries is excellent. While
there are certainly shortcomings in military
medicine, consideration of all these other
real-world factors will be entirely new for
me and I anticipate will be something
I miss from my time in the Army.
Are you involved in any nonprofit/
community groups at this time?
Community service has always been a
big part of my life. My father, mother and
sister are all volunteer firefighters, many
relatives are active in the American Legion
and VFW and I am an Eagle Scout. I am
not yet active with any local groups, but
look forward to working with the Berks
County Medical Society to assist with
underserved populations and joining local
veterans service organizations in their
efforts.
Please tell us a little about your
family and the activities you enjoy
outside of work.
I have been married to my wife,
Meghan, for 9 years. She is a local high
school math teacher. We have two young
sons. We also have a dog named Riley. In
my spare time, I like to run, cycle, swim
and occasionally dabble in triathlons. I
found a pretty active cycling community
in the area and it's been fun to join them
for local rides.

FALL 2020

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BCMS Medical Record Fall 2020

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