Meet a Specialist: Sheila Borboli-Gerogiannis, M.D., FACS
In medical school, it was the beauty and logic of the eye that captivated Dr. Sheila Borboli-Gerogiannis, and started her thinking about a medical career in ophthalmology. “I’m fascinated by the eye’s anatomy and physiology,” she explains. “Unlike other organ systems, the eye is transparent and readily accessible. This means that we can diagnose and formulate treatment in ways that simply aren’t possible for other systems in the body.”
Today, as a member of the Comprehensive Ophthalmology Service at Mass. Eye and Ear, Dr. Borboli-Gerogiannis treats patients with a variety of ophthalmic conditions. She says her greatest professional satisfaction comes most often during a patient’s first follow-up appointment after cataract removal. “I love the smile I get once the patient’s vision is restored, and the question that usually follows: ‘How soon can we do the other eye, doc?’”
That ability to radically improve a patient’s quality of life is what prompted Dr. Borboli-Gerogiannis to become an ophthalmologist. She was also drawn to the field because she saw a tremendous opportunity to advance the diagnosis and treatment of many different eye diseases and conditions. “In just the last 10 years, I’ve been witness to significant changes in the technology that we use every day in the clinic and the operating room, for diagnosis, imaging, and surgery. These advancements enable us to provide patients with the best possible care on every visit, whether they’re here for a comprehensive eye exam or a corneal transplant,” she says.
Dr. Borboli-Gerogiannis was drawn to Mass. Eye and Ear, in particular, because of its excellent reputation for pioneering and advancing eye care. After completing her medical training at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School and an internship at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Dr. Borboli-Gerogiannis joined the Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology Residency Training Program at Mass. Eye and Ear. As a resident, she was exposed to a broad range of clinical cases, research and teaching opportunities, as well as outstanding faculty.
“As a resident here, you see patients come from around the world seeking specialized care not available anywhere else. It’s a remarkable and exciting opportunity to train under the mentorship of some of the world’s foremost experts in the field,” she explains.
After residency, Dr. Borboli-Gerogiannis completed her fellowship training in Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Subsequently, she joined an ophthalmology practice in Gulfport, Mississippi and the Gulf Coast region. She was there when Hurricane Katrina hit and, while many physicians fled the area, Dr. Borboli-Gerogiannis spent much of her time caring for patients at Biloxi’s Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System. Like many families in the area, she and her family lost their home. “It was a sad situation,” she says. “But you need to focus on the future and move on with your life.”
Today, Dr. Borboli-Gerogiannis welcomes the daily challenge of taking care of patients with diverse needs. “At your first appointment, you may find a patient who just needs a new eyeglass prescription,” she says. “But, in the room next door, there may be someone whose vision loss could be the first sign of more serious underlying disease.”
As a medical educator, Dr. Borboli-Gerogiannis’ primary focus is training second-year residents in cataract surgery. She provides OR training and is part of the team that developed an innovative computer-based training curriculum to help teach residents cataract surgery. She also oversees ophthalmic consultations for patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where she is studying practice patterns, with the ultimate goal of streamlining patient care.
In collaboration with physicians at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Borboli-Gerogiannis also participates in clinical trials and provides consults to the Institute’s Bone Marrow Transplant Survivorship Clinic regarding treatment-related eye complications.
Dr. Borboli-Gerogiannis is committed to providing the best possible care for every patient. “The trust of each patient is sacred,” she explains. “So I always focus on being consistent and thorough. That’s what ensures outstanding outcomes.”
Contact Dr. Borboli’s office at 617-573-3202.
View Dr. Borboli’s online bio for more information.