Full Name: Harsha S. Reddy
Hometown: Cedarburg, WI
Specialty: Ocular Plastic Surgery
Place of Practice: New York Eye & Ear Infirmary, New York, NY
Why did you want to become a doctor?
I had always admired medicine as a field that combined knowledge and service, but in college, I was also attracted to other scientific disciplines. Before entering medical school, I followed my love of wildlife biology and studied wild tigers for 2 years in India. This field work was grueling and beautiful, but it was also surprisingly isolating, and I found it impossible to ignore the medical conditions among the communities where I worked. My experiences during those years helped me realize that I would be happiest if I could use the power of science and persistence to take care of people.
What sets you apart from other doctors in your field?
My commitment to education, both as a teacher and doctor. I enjoy teaching physicians-in-training. Their questions push me to think of new solutions to clinical problems. And while my patients come to me for my expertise, they teach me how we can work together to improve their health. I want both my residents and my patients to feel empowered by our interaction.
What are your 5 tips for living longer?
1. For those eyelids: sunblock, sunglasses even in moderately bright light (not just for wrinkles, but to prevent cancer).
2. For those “bags”: lower salt intake, and, yes, cucumbers. (Really, anything cool helps.)
3. Glaucoma is serious business. Get checked.
4. Take omega-3 fatty acid supplements to prevent styes, decrease redness and improve dry eyes.
5. Talk to a good friend every day.