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Residents & Fellows Spotlight: Nathaniel Blecher, MD

Nathaniel Blecher, MD

Chief of Ophthalmic Trauma

Where are you from?

Pittsburgh, PA

Where did you attend Medical School?

University of Pittsburgh SOM

Where did you complete your residency?

Washington University in St. Louis

Why did you choose Ophthalmology and your specialty?

I always knew I wanted to be a doctor, but no body told me I had to choose a specialty until I was basically already in med school. I figured out quickly I wanted to do something surgical but it took me a while to find ophthalmology. The more I explored the field, the more I found I liked it. Everything from the skilled physical exam, to the ownership of medical and surgical management, to the procedures themselves. Everything I get to do in ophthalmology only reinforces my love for it!

Why did you choose WashU?

I came here for undergrad so I was familiar with the area and hospital. I decided to do an away here and was immediately drawn to the department. It is an extremely supportive learning environment that pushes you to do the most you can but in a way that you always have the support you need to do so safely.

Favorite memory of your residency?

All the get togethers with my class, especially where I got to invite them all to my wedding!

What did you learn in your residency that impacted you the most?

The value of building a real therapeutic relationship with your patients. It is the nature of medicine to not always have the answers to everything immediately, but by explaining the situation well and having a good game plan that your patient is on board with you can successfully navigate the unknowns of medical practice.

How did you survive during quarantine?

The support of my co-residents!!

What excites you most about starting your fellowship at WashU?

Being able to take the next step in my career with the rest of WashU at my back. Starting to really dive into teaching on the consult service and in the OR.

What do you look forward to about living in St. Louis?

Showing the new residents/fellow my favorite restaurants/breweries and other parts of St. Louis!