Keeping Patients in Sight

Francis Geissler, M.D., Ph.D., Eye MDs of Puget Sound

By Seattle Mag


March 1, 2017

This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Why did you choose to specialize in ophthalmology? I never get tired of these seven little words: “Thank you, doctor, for helping me see.” As an ophthalmologist, I am constantly rewarded for helping safeguard and improve one of the most important assets a person has, their vision. I truly have one of the best jobs in the world. My father was an ophthalmologist who touched the lives of so many people in a positive way. It undoubtedly influenced me to enter this field.

What’s the biggest misconception that patients have about what you do? Many people do not realize that ophthalmologists are medical doctors who went to medical school and then did four-plus years of residency training.

Within ophthalmology, what’s your specialty? Cataract surgery. I introduced laser-assisted cataract surgery, LACS, into South Puget Sound over two years ago. Using LACS, eye surgeons can now offer cataract patients both improved vision and freedom from spectacles following cataract removal.

What development in your field are you especially excited about? LACS and the development of premium intraocular lenses, IOLs, have greatly improved the potential for good vision in patients undergoing cataract surgery.

What are new treatments that we can look forward to in your specialty in the next 5–10 years? Over the next decade, there will continue to be improvements in the treatment of macular degeneration and glaucoma, two of the leading causes of vision loss in the U.S. Advancement will continue in the design of IOLs for cataract surgery.

Is there a patient behavior that you wish you could change? Since vision is so desperately important to people, patient compliance is very high with eye patients. As with all specialties, younger people tend to believe they are bulletproof until they have an accident or are diagnosed with a serious disease.

What’s the most fun, outside medicine, you’ve had recently? Visiting Charleston last summer with my wife and kids. We lived there for four years while I did my residency training at Medical University of South Carolina.

What qualities should a patient look for when choosing a doctor?
Qualifications, experience and reputation are all important factors in selecting your doctor. Find out where he or she attended medical school. Verify they are in good standing with state licensing agencies. How long have they been practicing and where? Most importantly what kind of reputation do they have?

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