Texas Retina Associates’ most senior physician, Dwain Fuller, MD, is one of three Dr. Fullers in our practice. In recent years, his two sons, Christopher Fuller, MD, and Timothy Fuller, MD, have also joined Texas Retina Associates. Let’s get to know Dr. Dwain Fuller a little bit better.
Why did you choose to become a retina specialist? I always enjoyed science and started college wanting to become a chemical engineer. However, the humanitarian potential of becoming a physician persuaded me to pursue medicine. After medical school, I started my residency in internal medicine at the University of Virginia but then left to serve in the Army during Vietnam. While working with ophthalmologists during my time in the Army, I found my calling.
What do you enjoy most about your work caring for patients? I love spending the time to get to know my patients better. I have been practicing for many years, but I still wake up looking forward to going to the office.
What is your philosophy of patient care? My first goal is to inspire patient trust, then to deliver the highest quality retina care possible. I believe the best visual outcomes are achieved when the patients and physician work as a team. My philosophy of practicing medicine has always been to do things for people not to people.
What is it like having your sons follow you into the field of retina and then to Texas Retina Associates? I’ve always loved my work, but I love my family even more. When the boys were young, I had to work long hours, but my wife Patsy and I always made it a priority for our family to have dinner together, even if it was late. I also talked about my work with the boys and even took them with me sometimes on Saturday morning post-op rounds at the hospital. However, I never thought they would become physicians, and they didn’t either. Patsy and I always encouraged them to find their own paths. Chris started out wanting to pursue journalism and then studied Spanish before ultimately choosing medicine. And Tim also studied Spanish and served as both a health care translator and teacher of English as a second language before choosing medicine as well. I enjoy and feel blessed to work with them. We build off our unique strengths and specialties, sharing challenging patient cases and learning from each other.
What is your most memorable medical experience? A few years ago Chris invited me to join him on medical mission trips to both Vietnam and Syria. I treasure the time we were able to spend working together to help others. The trip to Syria, in particular, was the best week of my life.
What do you see as the future of retina care? Just like vitrectomy was a breakthrough early in my career, the field of retina has made similar strides in recent years with sight-saving injections and other treatments, especially for age-related macular degeneration. Now we have promising new research and developments in stem cells as a possible treatment option as well as implantable chips and devices. I know our field will continue to advance.
Learn more about Dr. Dwain Fuller here.