When Dr. Andrew Kessler finished his three-year ophthalmology residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore in 1990, he had seen enough of the city.
"I was looking to get out of Baltimore City," he said. "I wanted to find a community hospital in a more quiet and pleasant area."
Kessler learned that Dr. Martin Weintraub, a Westminster ophthalmologist since 1983, was seeking a partner.
"Dr. Weintraub and I had some mutual medical contacts, since we had both gone to the University of Maryland," said Kessler, 34.
"I wanted to find a community hospital in a quiet area with pleasant people. Dr. Weintraub was looking for someone to practice with him. So, we met and ultimately decided that we would work together."
Weintraub said the 18-month partnership has been beneficial to his patients and the practice.
"We are perfectly suited because he complements me," Weintraub said. "He does certain procedures (diabetic laser surgery and plastic surgery onthe eye) that I do not perform. Normally, I would have referred these patients to Baltimore.
"It's always difficult to pick a partner," Weintraub said, "because you look for someone who will take care ofpatients as you would. The patients love him. It has worked out wonderfully."
Kessler has been equally pleased with their Washington Heights Medical Center practice on Washington Road.
"Our practice is comfortable; it's a home-type practice," Kessler said. "There are not a lot of people in the office. We typically take care of everything.
"This way, the patients get more time with us, instead of seeing two to three people before they get to the doctor."
Kessler saidhe also has been pleased with his association with Carroll County General Hospital, which has heeded his requests for equipment for use in the hospital's ophthalmology room.
"When I first came here in July 1990, I went to the hospital and asked them to buy me a good bit of equipment," he said. "They barely knew me, but they went out right away and bought me top-quality equipment.
"They (CCGH officials) have made a real commitment to giving top-quality care, and that includes the care of the eye."
The hospital purchased two lasers, whichare used to treat problems such as glaucoma, cataracts and diabetes of the eye. One is an Argon laser, used to treat patients with glaucoma; the other is a YAG, used to treat patients who develop a problem following an initial cataract operation.
The lasers will be situated in the ophthalmology room, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. The lasers now are housed in a room beside the ambulatory surgery center with other eye examination equipment.
"We do 99.9 percent of our surgery at Carroll County General Hospital," said Kessler. "There is no reason for us to go anywhere else.
"The nursing staff is highly qualified, but most importantly, they are pleasant and they enjoy what they do."
Kessler said as the populationages, the number of ophthalmology patients is likely to increase in the next 10 years.
"Ophthalmology breaks down into a number of specialties, but Dr. Weintraub and myself are very comprehensive," he said. "We are able to manage most everything, including cataracts, crossed eyes and glaucoma. In extreme cases, we can always send patients out."
Kessler and his wife, Micki, live in Owings Mills, BaltimoreCounty, and are expecting their first child in December.
"I love where I am right now," he said. "I'm probably the only person that enjoys going to work.
"Dr. Weintraub and CCGH have been absolutely great. I can't imagine things getting anything but better."