Forty Under 40: Patrick Risch

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Class of 2018 Forty Under 40 Patrick Risch Ophthalmologist & President The Eye Center

Witnessing the positive impact cataract surgery made on people’s lives by restoring their vision, and knowing those surgical outcomes are always good, sold Patrick Risch on ophthalmology.

An Eagle Scout, National Merit Scholar and valedictorian in his hometown of Muskogee, Okla., he grew up with a veterinarian dad and always knew he was interested in some form of medicine.

Graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 2007 with a zoology/biomedical sciences degree, he finished at the University of Oklahoma Medical School in 2011. After a year interning at St. Raphael’s Hospital in Connecticut, he completed his residency in ophthalmology at the University of Tennessee’s Hamilton Eye Institute in 2015.

Risch joined The Eye Center in 2015 as an associate and bought out Craig Brown in 2016 and Kellye Smith in 2018 as they retired but continued to practice.

Risch specializes in surgical ophthalmology, having performed 2,500 cataract operations in the past three years. He is passionate about treating diseases of the retina.

A shareholder in Fayetteville’s Arkansas Outpatient Eye Surgery Center, Risch serves as Ophthalmology Service Chairman on the Surgery Control Board at Washington Regional Medical Center.

In his leadership role at The Eye Center, Risch plans to continue the “patient care first” culture and add Lasik surgery in the next few months to grow in the refractive market. As a physician, he is always learning to “stay current and on top of my game to provide good outcomes as a surgeon.”

Future goals include completing a manual small-incision cataract surgery course with SEE International in order to operate in developing nations.

Risch and his wife have traveled to southern Africa and would like to visit Ecuador. But with a newborn daughter, he said he is currently busy changing diapers.