Dr Netan Choudhry is the co-founder/ medical director of VRMTO, which opened in April 2017
He has affiliations with both the University of Toronto and Harvard Medical Schools.
Netan is passionate about multi-modal imaging having one of the most technologically advanced
retina practices in the country. He takes part in numerous clinical trials and research projects,
all with the goal of enhancing high-quality patient care.
Dr. Netan Choudhry
B.Sc., McMaster University 2000
M.D, Medicine Georgetown University 2005
Vitreoretinal Fellowship, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary 2011
Why did you choose your field?
I chose a career in Ophthalmology & thereafter Vitreoretinal surgery for a number of reasons. During my training years, my mentors imparted on me many values. In particular, being precise in my diagnosis and ultimately, treating the whole patient. While we don’t treat patients’ systemic health issues in Ophthalmology, we do see the effects of many of these conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension. The field of retina interested me because so many systemic conditions affect the retina, everything from infections (ex: Tuberculosis) to autoimmune, such as Lupus and even medications.
The integration of technology into the field of Ophthalmology and particularly retina really sets it apart. Being acurated and well-read is key, as the field is changing rapidly. The combination of these elements, along with being able to take care of people both young & old, has made this profession very fulfilling for me and each day validates my decision to be a retina specialist.
What changes do you see coming down the pipe?
The field of ophthalmology & retina is changing rapidly. In fact, personalized medicine is already here. Currently, we have access to genetic testing for various retinal conditions and treatments tailored to people’s unique genetic subtype are being developed. I envision that the future will allow tailoring of therapies to patients in this way and a paradigm shift in how we approach treating retinal and other ophthalmic conditions.
What is the most exciting thing in your field to help patients?
It’s hard to answer that question and not mention anti-VEGF therapy! This has become the mainstay of our practices in treating conditions such as Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy & Retinal Vascular diseases. Decades ago, we did not have very many options outside of laser for these conditions and would essentially watch as many patients went blind. As a physician, not being able to help patients is really a helpless feeling that none of us enjoy. The introduction of ant-VEGF has not only revolutionized our understanding of these conditions, but empowered us to save vision and in many cases, restore vision. It has forever changed how we help patients with retinal disease.
What is something you have done to set your practice apart?
I think each practice if often a reflection of the provider’s core values. As an academic retina specialist, I enjoy clinical research and scientific writing. Our practice is diverse, with a large catchment area. I have the fortunate opportunity to see people with a variety of retinal conditions from the most common to very rare. I have enjoyed learning from my patients and contributing to the scientific literature via scientific publications within the fields’ most read journals. Providing patients, the opportunity to be seen in an environment where they would have access to novel therapeutic agents through clinical trials is very rewarding as a physician and ultimately allows us to contribute to moving the field of retinal medicine forward.
Last Time You Laughed?
Two nights ago, our son Aramis came running to our room at 2:30am because he had a bad dream. “What is it? My wife (Teresa) and I asked. “A bee is trying to sting my tail!” Hard not to laugh, even though it was in the middle of the night!
Favourite Past/Time Hobby?
I enjoy cooking for my family. Since I was young, I had an interest in being in the kitchen. Whether it was cooking Christmas dinners or being challenged with a new appliance, creating interesting food for my family to enjoy, is my favourite past time. I’m currently working with an emersion circulator and slowly attempting to master sous vide cooking.
Favourite 80’s Jam?
That’s a tough one! So, much great music-for a bald guy, one of the greatest “hair-bands” was Van Halen. Jump! That was my favourite track!
Tell me something few people know about you?
I started Dj’ing when I was 14 and carried it on for 15 years. I was in high school and was mixing hip-hop (mainly), R&B and some house music. I was fortunate enough to be on the University radio station at McMaster (93.3FM) and made mix tapes which sold at the local record shops. Over those years, I accumulated some 5000 vinyl records, learned to scratch and mix a variety of music. It was really a highlight of my younger years and I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss it!