Georgia Eye Partners’ Dr. Parul Khator Featured in a Blog for “The Weekly Check-Up Atlanta”
Georgia Eye Partners’ Dr. Parul Khator was recently featured in a blog for “The Weekly Check-Up Atlanta”, WSB radio’s popular medical show. This blog series spotlights expert physicians and asks them to answer three questions out of a more extensive list. To see which three were featured on The Weekly Check-Up Atlanta, read Dr. Khator’s blog here.
See below for Dr. Khator’s answers and insight she provided for the rest of the questionnaire!
Why did you choose to work in your particular specialty?
Sight is such an important sense and one people value highly. I wanted to dedicate my career to helping patients retain and regain their sight. I cannot think of anything more rewarding than this.
What are the key challenges of this field of medicine?
I am a cataract surgeon and a glaucoma specialist. Glaucoma is a difficult disease to treat as it is oftentimes entirely asymptomatic until the severe stages. It is challenging to help patients understand the importance of undergoing treatments, some of which are invasive, for a condition they are not yet aware of. I enjoy the challenge of building a strong relationship of trust with my patients.
What are unique and/or special skills you have as a doctor?
I believe patients are empowered when they are educated. A lot of physicians may be facile at diagnosing diseases or skilled at surgery, but I believe the key to success in treating a long-term condition like glaucoma is through many conversations with a patient helping them understand the pathology and course of their disease. I pride myself in my clinical and surgical skills, but even more so in my ability to communicate to and relate with my patients.
What’s the most rewarding part about your job?
Performing cataract surgery is extremely rewarding as I get to give a patient back sight that they have lost. The joy on a patient’s face when they remove the bandages and see color and details again is indescribable.
What does your daily routine look like?
I see patients 5 days a week and operate one to two days a week. During clinic days, I will see anywhere between 40-60 patients in one day. It can be quite hectic but it’s important to me that each patient receives the time with me they deserve.
What’s one thing that has surprised you about being a doctor?
I am constantly surprised by my patient’s determination to fight their disease, whether it be glaucoma or macular degeneration or something else entirely. I am also constantly amazed at the ability we all have as humans to adapt to changes in our health, such as vision loss, and still be able to live happy and rewarding lives.
What would you do if you weren’t a doctor?
I would have become a professor in English. Both my parents are professors and I have seen how rewarding their careers are to them. I love reading and writing and have a passion for education.
Is there a specific patient or work experience that left a lasting impact on you? If so, explain how and why.
I have the honor of having the best patients in the world but one patient in particular is quite close to my heart. I met him 6 years ago when he was just 15 years old. He had a pediatric brain tumor for which he had required intensive steroid treatments. These steroids had hastened the development of cataracts in both of his eyes until he was no longer able to function in school because he could not read his books. He also had significant astigmatism and had always worn thick glasses with a very large prescription. I removed his cataracts and treated his astigmatism at the same time. The day after the surgery we took his patch off in my office and he and his father, who had held his hand the whole way, began to cry because he was able to see 20/20 perfectly. He is currently in pre medical classes and is cancer free. He plans on becoming an oncologist.
What three characteristics do you think makes a great doctor?
I think you have to be more than just a doctor so you can see people as more than just patients. I also believe, as my mother often says, you can’t ask life to be easy, just ask it to be rewarding.
Do you have any advice for people studying to be a doctor in your field of medicine?
Spend as much time as you can studying and perfecting your clinical and surgical skills. When you’re done, take a step back and remember that it is not your job to save a person’s sight or even make them 20/20 but rather to be an ambassador and advocate for a patient on the journey of their disease.
Dr. Khator currently sees patients at our Midtown, Northside, and Woodstock locations. She performs surgery at Eye Surgery Center of Georgia, our State of the art ambulatory surgery center, as well as Emory Midtown Hospital. Schedule an appointment with her or one of our other expert providers by contacting Georgia Eye Partners today.