Some people prefer the stability and comfort that comes from routinely heading to the same office, day in and day out. Others, such as Sanjay D. Kamat, D.O., have a weekly work schedule that is anything but conventional.
On Mondays and Thursdays, Dr. Kamat sees patients at Bucks Eye Specialists, his thriving ophthalmology practice in Yardley, complete with a newly redesigned boutique. He starts as early as 8 a.m., and wraps up as late as 7:30 p.m., to help patients of all ages see the world more clearly. Here, he and his staff treat various ophthalmic conditions, including cataracts; ptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid, which can compromise one’s vision); dry eye; diabetic retinopathy (damage to retinal blood vessels caused by diabetes); and blepharitis (chronic inflammation of the eyelids).
Dr. Kamat splits the rest of his week seeing patients, performing surgeries and teaching the next generation of eye-care professionals at medical centers throughout the region. These include St. Mary’s Medical Center, Aria Health’s Bucks County Campus and Forest Health Medical Center, all in Langhorne; the Wills Eye Surgical Network, with locations in Warminster and Cherry Hill; Phoenixville Hospital in Phoenixville; Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia; Campus Eye Group in Hamilton, N.J.; Delaware Surgery Center in Dover, Del.; and Glasgow Surgery Center in Glasgow, Del. He is also a clinical instructor at the Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia, as well as the ophthalmologist for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Northeast Regional Center in Philadelphia.
Each Tuesday, for example, he meets with patients and teaches residents at one of two Tus Ojos Eye Care clinics in North Philadelphia and Camden, N.J., while every other Wednesday he drives to Dover, which is home to the flagship location of a third-generation eye-care practice that has 14 locations in Delaware and Maryland. In Dover, after seeing patients from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., he stays overnight so he can get an early start the next morning, performing cataract surgeries, before heading back to Yardley. He typically spends every Friday in the OR.
“I feel like I’m on the road a lot, but I appreciate the diversity and the element of spontaneity, which keeps you on your toes,” he says. “When I’m at Tus Ojos in Camden and Philly, I know it’s going to be hard work, because I’m seeing a lot of patients with very complicated pathology, but the work makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing by giving good results to a population that is typically underserved. When I’m here in Yardley, I’m working with the diverse population of Bucks County, and in Dover I’m treating a mixed population, which includes many retirees from this area. Regardless of the day, it’s always something new.”
It’s unsurprising, considering Dr. Kamat’s background, that so many reputed institutions are in need of his time and expertise. After graduating at the top of his class from Pennsbury High School, Dr. Kamat earned a bachelor’s in premedicine and a master’s in physiology from Pennsylvania State University. He attended medical school at Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience, and then returned to Philadelphia for his ophthalmology residency at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he served as chief resident. He also worked at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, where he gained invaluable experience in complicated cataract surgery and oculoplastic trauma.
His distinctive credentials extend beyond his education and work experience. A board-certified fellow of the American Osteopathic College of Ophthalmology, Dr. Kamat is also a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons and the Pennsylvania and Bucks County Medical Societies.
Risk and Reward
Despite his nomadic itinerary, Dr. Kamat remains 100 percent focused on Bucks Eye Specialists, which is about to enter its sixth year in his care. Bucks Eye Specialists had been a fixture in Yardley for decades before March 2009, when Dr. Kamat took it over from his childhood ophthalmologist, Barry Kutner, M.D. The practice has grown steadily with Dr. Kamat at the helm. In fact, he is currently mulling expansion opportunities, as well as investments in additional technology to better serve an ever-increasing patient population.
“I’m very happy to have the business doing as well as it is, knowing that I’m not just waiting around for business to come in the door,” he says. “I’m at the point now where I can’t do any more with my time, only do things more efficiently. It’s been a challenge, and it’s taken me six years to get here, but I’m getting everything done that needs to be done. I take some personal accomplishment in the fact that I’ve grown my practice in Yardley, and it continues to grow. Every year we do more surgeries, sell more contacts, sell more glasses, and that’s in a very competitive environment.”
On the surgical side of his Yardley practice, the most common procedures Dr. Kamat performs to improve his patients’ vision are laser-assisted cataract removal, intraocular lens implantation and astigmatism correction. He and his experienced team, which includes Dana Cianni, O.D., can also help patients contend with serious eye-related conditions, such as macular degeneration and eyelid cancers.
Another common condition he addresses that can significantly hamper one’s quality of life is dry eye, which is caused by the lack of tear production. One of the most unique services Dr. Kamat uses to combat dry eye is Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL, which Bucks Eye Specialists has been offering for several years. This pioneering therapy is designed to help people get to a “drop-free state” without the crutch of prescriptions.
Any downtime in Dr. Kamat’s schedule is devoted to his family and a healthy dose of personal enrichment. A former Eagle Scout, Dr. Kamat now serves as a den leader for his son’s Cub Scout troop. He’s also an avid cyclist, and he recently rediscovered his talent for music. He was an accomplished clarinetist and saxophone player in his high school years, and he is taking guitar lessons with his son at the same music school in Princeton, N.J., where his daughter takes violin lessons.
“Although I’m very busy and my days are full and have their share of stress, it’s all very rewarding,” he says. “It’s nice to say you know you’re going to be operating on a set schedule, and it’s nice to know that other people recognize what I’m doing. Of course, it’s also good to know I can help people in a lot of different ways.”
Bucks Eye Specialists
301 Oxford Valley Road, Suite 801A
Yardley, PA 19067
215-493-7330 | buckseyespecialists.com
Photograph by Allure West Studios