AUG 2013

EyeWorld is the official news magazine of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery.

Issue link: https://digital.eyeworld.org/i/153099

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Page 63 of 66

August 2013 EW IN OTHER NEWS 61 Virginia ophthalmologist balances eyecare and winemaking by Ellen Stodola EyeWorld Staff Writer Geoffrey Cooper, MD, is co-owner of Cooper Vineyards in Louisa County and practices in the Richmond, Va. area A n interest in wine and a determination to find an additional hobby was the push Geoffrey Cooper, MD, president elect of the Virginia Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, needed to start his own winery more than a decade ago. Despite working full time at an ophthalmology practice, the Virginia Eye Institute, in Richmond, Va., Dr. Cooper still finds time to co-own and operate the vineyard that bears his name. Dr. Cooper spoke to EyeWorld about his ophthalmology work, time spent at his vineyard, and how he got involved with both professions. Getting into ophthalmology Starting his medical career, Dr. Cooper did not initially think that he would be an ophthalmologist. After attending Johns Hopkins University as an undergrad and graduating from medical school at Tulane University, he moved to the Richmond, Va. area. Originally from Bethesda, Md., Dr. Cooper had grown up in a suburban area with no real medical background in his family. After attending medical school, he thought he would become a family physician. After becoming intrigued by surgery, Dr. Cooper gravitated toward Richmond and the medical center, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Medicine, with an interest in becoming a cardiac surgeon. He even began to get into cardiac research. However, during his second year of residency at VCU, Dr. Cooper said he had a "flash of inspiration," that he should instead become an ophthalmologist. After that, he said, he never looked back. Dr. Cooper continued at VCU for his ophthalmology training and decided to stay in Richmond when it came time to set up a practice. Opening his own practice and current work Just days after finishing his residency in 1987, Dr. Cooper began his own private practice, working in comprehensive ophthalmology and performing cataract and refractive procedures. He described his practice as a broad-based ophthalmology practice. "My practice reflects the community as a whole in Richmond," he said. Just last year, Dr. Cooper made a major change to his work in ophthalmology. After being in solo practice for 25 years, he made the decision to join a larger practice, going from working alone to working with about 30 other ophthalmologists. Dr. Cooper still practices full time, seeing patients in the office four days a week and operating one half day a week. The idea and ļ¬nding a location for a winery It was in the middle of his ophthalmology career that the idea of opening a winery came to him. Although he had no background in vineyards or winemaking, Dr. Cooper said he continued on page 62 Dr. Cooper poses with barrels of his wine. The wine is stored in barrels or large stainless steel tanks. The tasting room of Cooper Vineyards features a bar area and opens onto a deck where live music often plays. Solar panels are just one of the "green" features that Cooper Vineyards uses to help attain its LEED Platinum certification. Dr. Cooper stands next to a row of Cab Franc vines, one type of grape grown at Cooper Vineyards. The winery uses several other varieties of grapes, including the Virginia Norton grapes. Source (all): EyeWorld

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