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Good Optics
Long known as a local expert in all things related to the eye, Dr. Sanjay Kamat earns national accolades for his work leading ophthalmology’s next generation.

by Bill Donahue

Sanjay Kamat, D.O., is living proof that hard work pays dividends.

If he’s not consulting with patients at one of his two ophthalmology offices in the Greater Philadelphia Area—Bucks Eye Specialists in Yardley and Briggs Eye Specialists across the river in Mount Laurel, N.J.—Dr. Kamat is in the operating room, performing the most delicate of surgeries to restore, repair or otherwise improve his patients’ vision. As a result of his efforts, both offices have thrived and patients have seen their quality of life improve greatly.

Dr. Kamat’s devotion to his vocation has paid off in other ways, too, as evidenced by his recent trip to the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs, Fla. He was there not to explore the pristine beaches or other natural wonders of the Gulf Coast, but rather to be feted as an honored guest, to be celebrated by his peers.

Earlier this month, the American Osteopathic Colleges of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AOCOO-HNS) awarded Dr. Kamat with the Governors Achievement Certificate. He earned the recognition from the AOCOO-HNS Board of Governors for distinguishing himself through a high degree of accomplishment and meritorious service performed on behalf of the college and its board of examiners.

“It came as a surprise,” says Dr. Kamat of the certificate. “I made Eagle Scout when I was 18, which was pretty special at the time, but I would say this is probably the most momentous award of my professional career. You go through medical school, and there are different milestones along the way, but this award is definitely up there for me. It’s very specific to my line of work, and it’s from my peers and the people who trained me. It really means something.”

 

The Right Man for the Job

In 2003, Dr. Kamat received his board certification in ophthalmology through AOCOO-HNS, a national membership organization that promotes the interests of its members by improving the quality of training, education and patient care. In the years since, he has become an increasingly vital member of the college. For example, he either chaired or co-chaired three AOCOO-HNS national meetings—the youngest ophthalmologist ever to do so, he says.

“Running the national meeting is a lot of fun, because you get to emcee the event, but it’s also a lot of grunt work,” he says. “You’re responsible for acquiring speakers and assembling content for three to four days, essentially filling the schedule with 15 to 20 lectures a day. So much new occurs in this field every six to nine months, so the people who attend truly recognize the effort of good, quality lectures.”

He’s proven to be the right man for the job, as Dr. Kamat has treated various disorders and diseases of the eye throughout his career—just about every condition imaginable, in fact: cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration; dry eye; ptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid, which can compromise vision); blepharitis (chronic inflammation of the eyelids); and diabetic retinopathy (damage to retinal blood vessels caused by diabetes).

Particular areas of specialty include surgery to correct refractive error, such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia (the aging eye’s inability to see things up close), as well as “combined procedures,” whereby he removes a patient’s cataracts and also treats a patient’s glaucoma or adds implantable contact lenses in one trip to the OR.

Dr. Kamat is also something of a pioneer in regard to technology. Approximately six years ago, for example, he was the first ophthalmologist in the Greater Philadelphia Area to treat dry eye with Intense Pulsed Light. The technology has since become widely adopted in eye-care practices throughout the world.

“If it relates to the eye,” he says, “whether it’s a condition or a technology that’s used to treat it, chances are that I’ve seen it.”

 

 ‘Very Busy’

Ever humble, Dr. Kamat attributes his success largely to those who taught him the ropes.

In fact, he wishes the late Carlo J. DiMarco, D.O.—past president of the AOCOO-HNS, the Philadelphia 76ers’ team ophthalmologist for more than 20 years, and the former director of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where Dr. Kamat did his residency —would have been there to see him accept the Governors Achievement Certificate. While Dr. DiMarco passed away in 2014, Dr. Kamat was happy to have other peers who have influenced his career—David M. Ringel, D.O., of Sewell, N.J., for example—in the audience.

Now, Dr. Kamat is paying it forward in his work with AOCOO-HNS.

“Getting board certified through the AOCOO-HNS is a big deal, and you have to recertify every 10 years,” he says. “It’s a very thorough process that keeps you on your toes. The point is that organizations like AOCOO-HNS are trying to make sure physicians are prepared to provide care in the right way. For me to be involved, it helps me to make sure the next generation of physicians is well prepared to carry on the tradition.”

After accepting the Governors Achievement Certificate in Bonita Springs, and just a little weekend R&R along the Gulf Coast, Dr. Kamat was back on a plane, bound for a runway at Philadelphia International Airport.

After all, his patients in Yardley would be waiting first thing Monday morning.

“We’re still very busy,” he says of his practice. “We’re doing very well with premium lenses involving cataract surgery, and we’re seeing people coming out of the surgery with 20/20 vision. The technology we can now offer has had a dramatic effect on my patients’ eyesight, and it continues to get better and better.”

Much like a certain ophthalmologist based in Bucks County.

 

Bucks Eye Specialists
BucksEyeSpecialists.com
301 Oxford Valley Road, Suite 801-A
Yardley, Pa. 
(215) 493-7330

 

Briggs Eye Specialists
BriggsEyeSpecialists.com
2026 B. Briggs Road
Mount Laurel, N.J.
(856) 235-1211

 

 

 

About Dr. Kamat

Sanjay Kamat, D.O., developed an interest in medicine at a young age. In fact, his interactions with a childhood ophthalmologist—the same physician from whom he would acquire Bucks Eye Specialists in 2009—nudged him toward a career in eye health.

After graduating at the top of his class at Pennsbury High School in Bucks County, Dr. Kamat went on to earn a bachelor’s in pre-medicine and a master’s in physiology from Pennsylvania State University. He then attended medical school at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, Mo., and completed his internship and residency at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he served as chief resident. He also honed his skills in complicated cataract surgery and oculoplastic trauma at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

Dr. Kamat’s credentials extend beyond his education and work experience. Besides being a board-certified fellow of American Osteopathic Colleges of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AOCOO-HNS), Dr. Kamat is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, and the Pennsylvania and Bucks County medical societies.

He remains committed to expanding his knowledge base, as well as sharing his knowledge with other allied professionals, through his involvement in AOCOO-HNS and other organizations focused on eye health. In addition, he was recently invited to join the medical advisory board of Wills Eye Surgery Center in Warminster. 

Photography by Jody Robinson

 

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life Magazine, May 2018. 

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