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Scheie Vision Winter 2014

Marvin Greenbaum, MD, has always been visually oriented.  A photographer in his spare time, Dr. Greenbaum was drawn to the visual aspect of ophthalmology: he could observe patients’ anatomy and abnormalities throughout the examination.  In addition, Dr. Greenbaum enjoyed the precise instrumentation involved in the examination, the meticulous nature of the surgery, and the primary care aspect of ophthalmic practice, which allows for long-term relationships with patients.       

After graduating from the George Washington University School of Medicine, Dr. Greenbaum began his residency at the Scheie Eye Institute in 1980.  He remembers this as a time of significant change at Scheie.  

“Those were the last years of Dr. Scheie’s surgery and practice,” recalled Dr. Greenbaum.  “During those years, cataract surgery at Scheie evolved from intracapsular cataract removal to extracapsular surgery and the implantation of intraocular lenses, along with the early use of phacoemulsification.  Lasers also replaced surgical capsulotomies and iridectomies, and hospital stays for surgery were significantly reduced.”

During this time, Dr. Greenbaum met many ophthalmologists in private practice while working in the resident clinic.  These interactions, combined with his mentors at Scheie, provided Dr. Greenbaum with the opportunity to study varied approaches to treatment and to learn of the breadth of private practice opportunities.  

“I was privileged to have outstanding mentors at Scheie and I was particularly influenced by David Kozart, MD, Alexander Brucker, MD, and Irving Raber, MD,” he said.  “They were consummate teachers and role models.”

In 1983, Dr. Greenbaum began a private practice in Bala Cynwyd, providing comprehensive ophthalmology.  He was a solo practitioner for over 20 years, seeing patients of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds.  Dr. Ralph DiGiovanni joined his practice in 2002, and together they launched Bala Eye Care, a free-standing office in Bala Cynwyd.  More recently, Dr. Keith Mathers joined the practice.  Dr. Greenbaum currently operates at the Lankenau Medical Center and the Main Line Surgery Center in Bala Cynwyd.  

“I’ve enjoyed the multi-generational relationships I’ve developed with patients over the years, learning about their lives and interests, and this has certainly influenced my own life,” Dr. Greenbaum said.

In his earlier years, Dr. Greenbaum enjoyed teaching residents and medical students at Scheie in the classroom and clinics.  Additionally, he continues to lecture medical students at Drexel University’s School of Medicine, formerly the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Greenbaum is also involved in a research project with Mindy George-Weinstein, PhD, centered at the Lankenau Medical Center.  This study investigates the cause and possible prevention of posterior capsule opacification after cataract surgery.  Together, they are analyzing myofibroblasts and possibly targeting opacification with a specific monoclonal antibody to human lens tissue in rabbit models.

Dr. Greenbaum’s wife, Susan, worked at the University of Pennsylvania for many years before becoming a senior producer of “Radio Times” at WHYY, Philly NPR.  They both feel very fortunate that their children live in Philadelphia and they especially enjoy spending time with their first grandson, Noah.  

Outside of his long hours and full weeks in the office, Dr. Greenbaum and Susan enjoy traveling and spending time at their home in Cape Cod.  Dr. Greenbaum also pursues his interest in photography.  He has transitioned from film to digital processing, and his work is presently part of a local “Philly Photo Day” exhibition.  Dr. Greenbaum is one of so many Alumni that make their work and life something we can all look to for inspiration.  

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