Megan Webber, Co-Founder of Know the Glow, and Christina Gill, our Global Family Coordinator, met with pediatric ophthalmologist Dr. Matthew Gearinger to learn about his mission working with University of Rochester Flaum Eye Institute in Rochester, NY.
Dr. Gearinger joined University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in 2001, after completing his fellowship. Specializing in strabismus and amblyopia in patients both young and old, he has a special sensitivity to his pediatric patients. Dr. Gearinger sees nearly 50 patients a day but emphasizes that if there is a patient that calls about possible leukocoria, he will make the schedule work to see that patient same or next day. Recognizing the importance of those patients being seen right away, they are carefully placed into his schedule regardless.
In the Rochester, New York, and surrounding area, Dr. Gearinger said they have not had many retinoblastoma cases of late but he has seen quite a few pediatric cataract cases. One of the biggest accomplishments for the local area is having more pediatric practices using photo screeners in Rochester to pick up on refractive errors. Although the AAP recommends using the red reflex test, this test is often difficult to perform on fidgety children. Too often, waiting the additional six months for a child to retest, can lead to serious issues when a diagnosis is missed. Dr. Gearinger also credits the use of smart phone camera screening apps which can scan the photos on your phone to pick up any possible issues.
Dr. Gearinger has a huge heart! It is our wish and his that he could clone himself and be able to reach and help more people. His full schedule also includes his work as a faculty professor for URMC where he teaches and works with the fellows that come through his department on rotation. Most of the fellows are pediatric fellows who receive hands-on training and experience in learning to identify the different ocular issues that come daily into Dr. Gearinger’s practice. As if that were not enough, Dr. Gearinger, a life-long learner, also spends considerable time researching and publishing articles, studies and books. His most recent book about pediatric ophthalmology is soon to be published.
We were so grateful for the opportunity to speak with Dr. Gearinger and look forward to seeing his practice grow at Flaum Eye Institute.