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Meet Dhanu Meleth of Marietta Eye Clinic

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dhanu Meleth.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Dhanu. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born in India and grew up in England, Canada, the Middle East and moved to the US in high school. After finishing high school, I went back to Canada to begin university and then moved to Alabama for medical school and a Master’s Degree in Physiology. My grandfather was a rice farmer in rural India and he lost vision in his early 60’s due to advanced glaucoma. As a consequence, he was no longer able to work his land and was confined to the house for the remainder of his life. I had a strong interest in ophthalmology due to my grandfather’s experience and the impact it had on my family. During medical school, I took a year off to do clinical research in Ophthalmology at the National Institutes of Health. While I was there, I met a group of wonderful physicians and scientists who stoked my interest in vitreoretinal surgery and uveitis. I left the NIH as a medical student with a strong interest in the world of uveitis and retina. I completed medical school and matched in ophthalmology, spending another 2 months in Australia participating in retinal research there.

I completed an internship in internal medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City and then moved to George Washington University to pursue my ophthalmology residency. I then returned to the NIH as a clinical fellow and spent two years immersed in medical retina, uveitis and ocular immunology with a strong focus on clinical research. I went to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to complete a two year fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery. During my first fellowship, I met and married my wife Anita, who is a singer-songwriter and a math teacher. We had our daughter, Leela, during our time in Houston and moved to the Atlanta area to join Marietta Eye Clinic. Our son, Ashwin, was born shortly after we moved to Atlanta. I have been in practice with Marietta Eye Clinic for the past 4 years and have slowly built up a practice and also been fortunate enough to offer my patients an opportunity to enroll in clinical trials which allow them an opportunity to receive cutting edge treatment. I have also had the fortune to participate in medical missions and have gone to Myanmar twice to perform surgery and lecture to local ophthalmologists. I will be going to Vietnam later this year to do more of the same.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have been numerous challenges but none that were extraordinary. I struggle as much as everyone with the pursuit of balance; to find a way to be the best father, husband and physician that I can be and apply love, diligence and care to each of my roles.

There were times when the path seemed less certain; my grades suffered in my first year of college and I wondered whether I would be able to salvage them enough to get into medical school. Luckily, I was able to improve my GPA after my first year.

Marietta Eye Clinic – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Marietta Eye Clinic is a practice which has been providing excellent ophthalmic care to the community for 50 years. We provide all subspecialities in ophthalmology, other than neuro-ophthalmology. We have an excellent optical department who have great expertise in dispensing spectacles and contacts. We have a group of cataract and glaucoma surgeons who are among the best that I have encountered in my career with a very low rate of complications and extremely happy patients. Our oculoplastic surgeon, Byron Long, provides an amazing cosmetic experience for his patients. In the retina department, Dr. Kooragayala and I offer a nearly complete array of retina and uveitis care. We also participate actively in many clinical trials which allow us to offer our patients cutting edge treatments that are not yet available to most.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Professionally, I define success as having a well run practice which treats patients with respect and achieves the best possible outcomes that we can attain with modern medicine.

Personally, I want to raise children who have balanced healthy lives who are able to find happiness in their lives. I want to support my wife in the pursuit of her dreams. I would like to continue to be a good husband and father. I have played guitar for 25 years and want to continue to become a better musician.

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