Dr. David Eisenberg is a noted Winthrop eye doctor and an adventurer who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa at 19,000feet.
Once a year Eisenberg travels the globe to provide free eye care in a country whose inhabitants need specialized medical assistance. Generally, Eisenberg performs cataract surgery for those who are unable to afford this vital operation that clears up blocked vision in the lens of the eye by replacing it with a plastic lens implant.
Eisenberg’s noble journey this year took him to Nepal (South Asia), where he taught modern American techniques for cataract surgery to other physicians. His wife, Laura, accompanied him on the trip, assisting at cataract screening sessions for patients.
The focus of this year’s trip was providing instruction to other eye doctors on a surgical technique called phacoemulsification, which is a way to emulsify (liquefy) a cataract so it can be removed through a small incision.
Eisenberg was making his tenth trip to a foreign land, having visited Africa three times, South Pacific island nations Tonga and Micronesia, Peru, Central America, and India.
What is the inspiration for Dr. Eisenberg’s annual journeys?
“Frankly, I want to see these places and make use of my time and my training,” said Eisenberg. “I’ve enjoyed the travel and getting to see different areas of the world and I’ve also enjoyed taking time to just do work without the normal pressures of an office and just taking care of people that have no finanicial means to get care.”
A graduate of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, Eisenberg has been an ophthalmologist for 30 years and has offices in Winthrop and Chelsea.
He has found his international medical missions to be rewarding and productive.
“I like reaching out to physicians worldwide,” said Eisenberg. “In Nepal, they were receptive to the training and on my other trips they have been receptive to the fact that I bring medical supplies. It’s good public relations for the United States that American doctors do this.
“I think the medical communities in these countries are grateful that we [doctors) come and they treat us with respect,” said Eisenberg. “I met a number of people in Nepal who are eager to come to the United States for medical training. They look favorably upon our country. I didn’t notice any anti-American sentiment. They’re grateful to us and to the companies that donate supplies.”
While the recent trip to Nepal was an instructional one, Eisenberg has used his expertise to perform hundreds of cataract surgeries on visits to other countries.
“I’d say I’ve done 800 cataract surgeries over the years in these foreign countries,” said Eisenberg.
The doctor isn’t bragging. He is just proud of the fact that he has been able to do these missions of helping others in need of eye care.