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Longtime New Orleans eye doctor advances his practice with move to EyeCare Associates | Sponsored: EyeCare Associates

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One of New Orleans’ most respected ophthalmologists is entering the next chapter of his career with a move this month to EyeCare Associates.

Dr. Barry Leader has practiced throughout Uptown and Metairie for more than three decades. He is well known for being the first ophthalmologist to serve as Touro Infirmary’s president of medical staff. Most recently, he was named one of 2022’s top five comprehensive ophthalmologists in the Orleans/Jefferson Parish area by Inside New Orleans Magazine.

“EyeCare Associates has always had a reputation for being well-run, and I felt like that took some of the burden off of me in terms of management decisions. It allows me to focus on my patients and advance my own knowledge,” Dr. Leader said. “I’ve known many of the doctors here for many years and I’ve always respected them quite a bit. I’ve also built relationships with patients and their families, and EyeCare Associates offered me the opportunity to continue to practice the way I have always done.”

Dr. Leader first became interested in medicine as a youth growing up in Virginia, where his mother was often hospitalized with various illnesses. He moved to New Orleans to attend medical school at Tulane and originally considered becoming an OB-GYN before a friend convinced him to try ophthalmology. In the decades since, Dr. Leader has embraced the opportunity to treat conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and more, all while embracing new and improved treatment methods.

“Technology has had an incredible impact on ophthalmology,” Dr. Leader noted. “When I first started my residency, you had to make a large incision in the eye when someone had a cataract and then remove it. Just in the course of my residency, the process changed dramatically because people knew there had to be a better way. That tremendous creativity has continued in the field with devices that give us much more control and make it much easier on the patient. Nowadays, so much information is disseminated online, and I really enjoy reading about what others are doing and watching lectures virtually to learn how I can incorporate those techniques into my own practice.”

One thing that has remained consistent is Dr. Leader’s strong relationships with his patients. His caring nature and attention to detail made a lasting impression on Kevin Pembrook, who sought out Dr. Leader after being diagnosed with glaucoma in both eyes. Pembrook has limited vision in his right eye, but thanks to Dr. Leader’s work, has 20/30 vision in his left eye.

“He’s a patient physician who really cares,” Pembrook said. “After one of my surgeries, he called around seven at night to see how I was doing. You can tell he cares by the questions he asks and the fact that he’s not hurried when he’s with you. I think he symbolizes how doctors and medicine should be and how people should be treated. We’re in a day and age where people don’t care as much, but Dr. Leader still does.”

That commitment extends to helping people and physicians around the world. Dr. Leader has written several journal articles on ophthalmology and co-edited a book on glaucoma and diseases of the optic nerve. He has also given speeches at numerous medical conferences in the United States, Spain, Greece, Israel, Norway, Korea and Hong Kong.

Dr. Leader said he knows that local patients are sometimes hesitant to change practices, even if it means remaining with the same doctor, but that he, his staff and the EyeCare Associates team are committed to a seamless transition. Dr. Leader also began accepting new patients at EyeCare Associates as of Sept. 5.

“When I’ve talked to my patients, they’ve all been glad about the chance to stay with me,” he said. “People are always a little uncertain about change, but the EyeCare Associates folks have been great about communicating with them and scheduling their appointments. I think my patients should feel assured that this will go smoothly.”

Dr. Leader encourages everyone to schedule routine eye checkups, especially if they have neglected them during the COVID-19 pandemic. He urges those with blurred vision or other eye problems to see a doctor immediately for treatment.

“People usually think they just need new glasses or a new prescription, but sometimes it can be a more serious problem,” he said. “It’s always best to get it checked out as soon as possible to address any issues.”

EyeCare Associates has offices at 4324 Veterans Memorial Boulevard in Metairie and 3715 Prytania Street, Suite 250, in Uptown New Orleans. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit eyecareneworleans.com or call 504-455-9825.

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