Health Care Hero Eye Physician
Dr. Roger W. Newsom wanted to be a pro golfer, but as fate would have it, his attention turned to medicine.
He was a sophomore at East Carolina University on a golf scholarship when his mother was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. He was exposed to medicine and became interested in being a doctor.
He was also dating a young lady whose father was an ophthalmologist. He applied to medical school and watched his now-wife's father perform cataract surgery.
"That was what I wanted to do," Newsom said.
The uplifting aspect of helping people by repairing vision problems or defects attracted Newsom to the profession.
"It's fun to be able to fix broken things," he said. "In ophthalmology, we don't deal with as many depressing or sad situations as compared to say an oncologist."
Newsom enjoys the aspect of his work that uses technology to improve people's lives, from implants for eyes in cataract surgery to computer-guided, laser-measuring devices and lasers for treatment of glaucoma, diabetes and vision correction.
He sees the impact that science has on his patients' lives.
Years after a gunshot wound required reconstructive surgery to her left eye, a woman referred to Newsom had developed a sore. She did not have medical insurance and had been covering the defect with her hair.
"She didn't ask if I could fix the deformity or do surgery but wondered if I would give her a prescription for antibiotic cream," Newsom said. "We talked about what could be done to permanently fix the problem."
He knew of a charitable foundation that could help and he provided his services for free. The last time he met with the patient, she was no longer covering the left side of her face with her hair.
In the future, Newsom looks forward to working in a field where advancements in disease prevention and treatment as well as technology are sure to come. He also has a personal goal - to win the U.S. Senior Amateur Golf Championship.