New Faculty: Sriranjani Padmanabhan, MD – Glaucoma Specialist

MD: University of Rochester School of Medicine
Residency: University of Pennsylvania/Scheie Eye Institute
Fellowships: Emory University (Glaucoma); University of Nebraska/Truhlsen Eye Institute (Prevention of Global Blindness)

Q. Why Glaucoma?

A. I appreciate that glaucoma affects all parts of the visual system, allowing me to practice a wide range of skills on many types of cases. Also, I wanted to pursue a specialty that impacts vulnerable populations. We need more glaucoma doctors.

There is not always a lot of evidence to guide glaucoma management, and so we have opportunities to be creative and to develop evidence that makes a big impact. Glaucoma specialists create long-lasting relationships with their patients, and I love being a part of that!

Q. Your international fellowship involved stints in five countries. How did that shape your view of medicine?

A. My second fellowship gave me the opportunity to see how vision care varies in Haiti, Nepal, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Alaska. Seeing the sickest patients’ lives changed after getting care was transformative.

The experience solidified the critical importance of preventing blindness, something I previously understood only on a rational level. It renewed my optimism in medicine.

Q. Your primary assignment combines teaching and glaucoma care at Zuckerberg San Francisco General. Why is that special for you?

A. I loved working internationally. The barriers to care that patients struggle with abroad are the same that many Americans face. Zuckerberg San Francisco General offers a diverse population with complex medical and socioeconomic challenges. Working there fits me to a T. As it’s a teaching hospital, I’m usually supervising our excellent residents. I enjoy witnessing their growth into confident doctors and having a hand in their progress.

My practice at the UCSF glaucoma clinic presents different case profiles, requiring a distinct management approach. The two patient groups allow me to develop my full skill set as a specialist

Q. You considered a career in journalism. Does writing still interest you?

A. I worked on a newspaper in college, and these days I imagine writing about medicine. On the creative side, I still develop my own fiction and poetry. That satisfies a different part of my brain!