Dr. Anjali Bhorade is an assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. She sees patients at the Center for Advanced Medicine Eye Center located on the Kingshighway medical campus.
Her specialties include the diagnosis and management of adult glaucomas, imaging of the optic nerve and nerve fiber in glaucoma, and neurological disorders of the eye.
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What happened in the course of schooling to make you choose your specialty?
My interest in ophthalmology stems from my family, who happen to suffer from a range of ocular diseases. I realized the impact of visual disorders on a person's life and the dramatic improvement that can be accomplished even by a simple correction such as glasses.
As a medical student, I will never forget witnessing the overwhelming joy of a patient after cataract surgery as she saw her granddaughter clearly for the first time. Now, it is a wonderful feeling to be able to share this joy with my patients.
My specialty is glaucoma - a disease of the optic nerve in the eye. It is a silent disease and many people do not know that they have it until the disease is advanced. My practice involves evaluating and managing glaucoma in order to prevent progression of the disease and preserve vision for my patients.
What brought you to Washington University?
Washington University has an excellent reputation for patient care, clinical research and education - three aspects which are very important to me. I am very interested in clinical research and the Department of Ophthalmology at Washington University has an outstanding group of research faculty and is the primary site for one of the largest clinical trial studies in the country.
Which aspect of your practice is most interesting?
I am currently involved in clinical research that evaluates the impact of glaucoma on a person's daily life. There is very little information known regarding this area, which I think is extremely important. I am interested in better understanding how glaucoma affects certain aspects of life, such as driving and risk of falls, and determining at what stage of the disease does quality of life diminish. With this information, we may be able to improve the quality of life and promote safer and independent living for our patients.
Where are you from originally?
I was born and raised in a western suburb in Chicago, Illinois. My parents, however, are originally from India and came to the United States in the early 1960s. Coming from a great baseball city, I truly appreciate the spirit of the Cardinals fans here in St. Louis. Although, I am still rooting for the White Sox to win the World Series this year.
Are you looking forward to any new challenges in your career?
I am looking forward to the challenge of integrating my research into clinical practice in the future. Clinicians currently treat glaucoma based on clinical measures, such as intraocular pressure, appearance of the optic nerve, and visual field tests. Our goal as physicians is to treat the patient and not the tests. Knowledge from my research will hopefully provide a better insight as to when to treat patients aggressively and in doing so, preserve their ability to carry out daily activities that are important to them.
What do you do when you are not working?
I moved to St. Louis a little over a year ago and got married shortly thereafter. My husband and I enjoy spending time exploring the sights of St. Louis including the museums, parks, and restaurants. When we have time, we like to travel around the world and experience different cultures. We are currently preparing an upcoming trip to South America, which will be a good experience to brush up on our Spanish. I also love taking Pilates classes and I am learning how to play tennis.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
My parents have always told me that Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be succesful. I have followed these words of advice throughout my life and am now extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful job here at Washington University.
I enjoy evaluating and treating glaucoma patients and am very excited to pursue clinical research to better understand how we can improve visual function in glaucoma patients.
The best medical advice I have ever received was "The cure is fine, but prevention is divine". This holds true for many things in life and I often pass on this piece of advice to my glaucoma patients.
What lifestyle change could most benefit our health?
Many eye diseases are silent. By the time you experience symptoms the disease may be in an advanced stage. Clinically, I see many people who suffer from advanced glaucoma, who may have benefited from early detection and treatment.
To successfully treat and manage glaucoma and other diseases, I would recommend that adults have routine, yearly eye exams. This allows your ophthalmologist an opportunity to detect and prevent the progression of early disease.
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