Dr. Gulani’s dedication to inspire goes beyond eye surgeons to every level of society where he encourages people of all ages and all walks of life to excel. Besides “Changing lives” by helping people see the best they can with his artistic and individualized approach to each and every patient, he continues to mentor and guide people to follow their passion.
On this page you can see a brief glimpse into his endeavors that continues to have an impact worldwide.
Some of the most dignified physicians in the United States have one distinguishable trait in common- passion. As a pre-medical student with aspirations to excel in medicine, I searched for a way to break from the norms of modern-day healthcare largely due to the many deprived aspects of this field. Evolving range of issues, such as the lack of an available medical physician whom patients feel are truly dedicated to their mental and physical needs, have seriously challenged our healthcare system. To further aggravate the situation, the reduction from excellence to mediocrity in patient-care relationships has caused a further suppression of communication among doctors and their patients. However, I have been privileged with a momentous opportunity to meet a physician who is truly a divine influence in providing a level of superiority, unlike what we have been accustomed to. Dr. Arun C. Gulani, director of the Gulani Vision Institute, invited me to pursue an observership and what I experienced has provoked me to infuse your ideas about the foundation of medicine, how patients have been treated, and patients should be treated.Melisa Kulauzovic
Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich, Germany.
Through their Eyes: In their Words—
Whereas the rest of the world goes into Candidate vs Not a candidate with their surgeon’s limited surgical skills and technologies, I have seen surgical levels and executions to a level of flawless artistry and that too in an “Out of the World” surgical facility nee’, “Surgical Spa”!
Dr. Gulani has proven all such limitations of “cannot be done” are baseless. I am so accustomed to every patient seeing perfect and rejoicing here, that I have stopped reacting. No patient even on asking, talks about any pain.
What is eye opening was that we are seeing angry and complicated patients of so-called industry key opinion leaders and eye surgeons who write in journals and trade magazines flying to Dr. Gulani for him to fix these surgeon’s complications.
He fixes complications of Lasik, Cataract, Keratoconus, Radial Keratotomy, Cross Linking, Irregular cornea, Pterygium and Dry eyes with an ease and consistency of a magician.
There is nowhere in the world where I could have gained the same experience.
While my classmates doing externships with surgeons nationwide, are running through patients like a machine and barley knowing their names. I’m at GVI and giving my 100% focus and attention on each patient and learning about their lives outside of clinic walls. We even had a patient bring in a pet squirrel because that’s how close they are to Dr. Gulani and have that trust with him. The level that GVI is at today, is beyond any schooling can teach you.
School teaching is standardized to a normal patient and when it gets to hard then that’ s when the school pulls out the “not a candidate” card. That’s why we continuously see patients from other doctors that told them they’re not a candidate. With proper planning and making a personalized sequence, you can make them a candidate. I learned being at GVI, patients are literally like family, because if they weren’t, GVI would not have the outcomes they have today, yesterday and tomorrow.
I cannot thank MidWestem University enough for this Out of the World experience with a mentor like Dr. Gulani who has escalated my training and cut short my learning curve to deliver the highest level of medicine, administration and business as I get ready to enter the real world.Dr. Upkar S. Dhaliwal
Chicago College of Optometry
I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Gulani for the last four years and over my time at the Institute I have had my eyes open as to what a Doctor’s office should truly be like.
The personalized care that Dr. Gulani provides patients is unparalleled. It is unlike anything I have ever seen at other physician’s offices. He sees patients every step of the way: from their new patient appointments to pre-operative appointments, he personally does every patient’s refractions, then he does these incredible surgeries, and then he even personally follows up with patients the day of surgery and in their post-operative visits. He doesn’t pawn patients off on a PA. You always see him. Through the whole process of your vision journey he wants to make sure that patients and their loved ones don’t have any questions, that the patients feel calm and relaxed through every step of the process, and that everyone gets his undivided attention. Dr. Gulani is also unique in that he doesn’t put patients into the historic boxes of “Candidate” or “Not a Candidate.” He fights for each of his patients. Dr. Gulani custom tailors surgery for each individual eye while keeping into account the unique anatomies and how patients perceive their vision. The whole vision journey for patients reflects that. From when patients first walk into the office, to planning for surgery, to the Surgical Spa that Dr. Gulani created, the surgical instrumentation that he has designed; all has been constructed for helping patients get the best possible vision all the while being artistic, pain-free, and minimally invasive.
I have also never seen someone so passionate about teaching. Dr. Gulani spends more time with each patient than I have ever seen educating patients on their conditions and the procedures to help correct their vision and ensuring they don’t have any questions. Dr. Gulani also spends time instructing his staff on cases and about what it means to be a health care provider, inspiring a lot of them to pursue further careers in medicine and further spread the same passion. Dr. Gulani is also beyond a key opinion leader when it comes to the eye care industry. When companies come out with new technologies he is often consulted on what he thinks are the best ways to utilize them. Dr. Gulani is also selfless when it comes to teaching other physicians. Whether it is one-on-one conversations, conferences, webinars, or publications he has authored; Dr. Gulani shares his techniques, drive for vision, and passion for his patients in hopes of inspiring surgeons and physicians alike to fight for their patients’ best vision and quality of life.
There is no place in the world like Gulani Vision Institute and I am thankful for the opportunities I had under Dr. Gulani’s tutelage.Amanda S.
I have in my observership at Gulani Vision Institute witnessed one of the most unique and trademark type of patient care and outcomes which is not seen anywhere in the world. Excellent results, honest opinions, personalized well customized treatments where every patient is treated like Dr. Gulani’s own family. Brain-Storming for each patient’s best vision. Unconventional though logical concepts but absolute bang on 20/20 outcomes even in most complex situations. I will utilize these approaches asap for vision 20/20 when I get back to India. Dr. Gulani is Beyond words; most humble, honest, selfless practice, least marketing, no commercial gimmicks and high ethics business with miraculous care for all including complex, disheartened patients.Dr. Nagendra S.; Associate Professor & Eye Surgeon
I would say Dr. Gulani is an ICON! A trend-setter, unconventional hero, magician of ophthalmic surgery world.
Bombay Hospital and Institute of Medical Science
I am a 2nd year medical student at Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL.
I had a wonderful experience at Gulani Vision Institute. Dr. Gulani always took time between patients to make sure I understood his thought processes and patient recommendations.
I learnt a great deal regarding ophthalmology while observing Dr. Gulani. Dr. Gulani stressed that safety, logic, and ethic were the primary objectives in treating patients and that on should consider vision as a whole while treating patients, not just correcting one problem. These are philosophies that I intend to make the basis of my future practice.
It was most enjoyable. I saw how rewarding correcting people’s vision is. The patients all did remarkably well and were very greatful for their new ability to see. As Dr.Gulani says, “everyone deserves to have good vision”.
Dr. Gulani always took time to explain every detail of his thought process providing sound scientific-based evidence as justification for his actions. He always made sure I understood why something was the case and repeatedly asked me if I had any questions going far above my expectations.
Dr. Gulani has trained universally and demonstrates his knowledge of ocular variants around the world on a regular basis.
The staff at Gulani vision Institute is Excellent, friendly, and very helpful.Neil K. M.
I honestly believe Dr. Gulani to be a great physician. He always puts his patient’s interests above his own, never pressuring them or making economically driven decisions. He takes into account each patient’s unique circumstances and comes up with an individualized plan to correct his/her vision as a whole. His passion for the field is not only demonstrated in his practice but also in his teaching.
I would love for my patients to hug me like they do Dr. Gulani
Medical Resident: Nova Southeastern University
We traveled from across the globe to Jacksonville to study under Dr. Gulani and learn his LASIK techniques and advanced Vision Corrective Procedures. He is a rare combination of an excellent surgeon, a great teacher and a caring physician.Dr. Choeng J. & Dr. Aphorn P.
Lasik Surgeons – Thailand
When I entered Gulani Vision Institute as a Fellow, little did I know that just a few months later I would have the vision of an artist; the vision that is an essential part to learning the Art of vision surgery.
Creativity is core to both science and art. Not every great piece of art was completed by the artist who conceived it. A fitting example of this is the statue of David, which required the brilliance of Michelangelo to complete the statue that was an unfinished project started 40 years earlier by Agostino di Duccio. Michelangelo’s David, unlike his other works was not created from a raw and untouched stone (or marble), rather he instilled his own brilliance to his predecessor’s unfinished work. As with art, at Gulani Vision Institute, I have seen Dr. Gulani create a vision masterpiece for every eye. He instills his own brilliance and his pioneering technique into reshaping the corneal defects of patients who have had an unsuccessful corneal surgery previously. I have seen patients with Lasik complications, corneal scars, and grade 4 keratoconus going home with a vision of 20/20!
Dr. Gulani insisted that when considering intraocular surgery with Lens implants; we as surgeons go the extra mile for our patients by taking full advantage of correcting not only the axial opacity (cataract) but also the refractive error with correct lens power calculation. Also consider all options like multifocal, presbiopic, toric or piggy back IOLs in different situations. After Intraocular lens implant we can again use Excimer laser and achieve unaided 20/20.
I was extremely fortunate to observe at GVI the application of the new generation topography technologies like the Pentacam (Oculus), advanced vision systems like the Optec 6500 and high-definition imaging systems in everyday practice as very few surgeons in the world own it right now.
At Gulani Vision institute I learned to approach each case through the concepts of a new superspeciality called corneoplastique. I started looking at each cornea as a new challenge. It gave me a holistic approach to LASIK and laser vision surgery.
Dr. Gulani encouraged me to develop individualized protocols for each patient and form my own plan for them. He also insists that we involve the patient’s loved ones and families when applicable by explaining in detail our plan of action and encouraging them to ask questions. It was a treat to witness the intense discussions that Dr. Gulani held with each patient in an honest desire to educate and empower them in their choices. I witnessed how every patient became comfortable as their fears got replaced by confidence.
It is an everyday event at GVI to see patients flying in from all over the world, ophthalmologists calling and emailing for advice, post operative patients hugging their surgeon or in combination surgery (eg. Lens surgery to be followed by Laser surgery in cases of corneal scars with cataracts and irregular astigmatism) cases to see them share the same enthusiasm as Dr. Gulani as they eagerly await to proceed to the next stage.
Amid all this adulance, I have learnt from Dr.Gulani never to lose focus. Dr.Gulani is seriously dedicated to raising the bar in vision with quality care, constantly thinking through each case, tirelessly documenting outcomes and results and sharing his plans and thought process with patients and doctors alike.
In my practice, I recently came across a patient with cataract who showed signs of worsened corneal dystrophy after Laser PRK. Three months ago, I may not have had any treatment option for her. But now with Laser Corneoplastique, I am in a position to be ready with a goal plan to give her “SUPERvision!”
Refractive surgery is now the most frequent surgery done in the world. It has evolved through various phases, beginning with Tsutomu Sato who introduced radial keratotomy first to Dr. Jose Barraquer who later discovered that lamellar or flap based surgery could correct refractive error. This brought about many developments in LASIK techniques. Svyatoslav Fyodorov’s favorite aphorism was ”we (refractive surgeons) make beautiful eyes for beautiful people.” Dr. Gulani’s Laser Corneoplastique as an art of refractive surgery takes this aphorism to the next level. It not only makes beautiful eyes for beautiful people, but beautiful eyes with perfect vision. It is the art to reshape the past and the art to shape the future. As a member of the next generation of refractive surgeons, I am equipped to address any refractive challenge. I am ready to create my own Masterpiece!
My sincere thanks to Dr. Arun Gulani, MD, Gulani Vision Institute, Jacksonville, Florida, USADr. Prachi N. (Ophthalmologist: Eye Surgeon)
Doheny Eye Institute
University of Southern California
“Vision for the world”, these are the words I saw as I entered in Gulani Vision Institute on my first day as a fellow doctor under Dr. Arun Gulani. Being new at his office and ignorant about GVI’s capability, the very first thing which came to my mind was, “how this can be possible?”. But at Gulani Vision Institute this is possible. I cannot say much about a person or institute where I started working just few days ago but I certainly want to share the mind blowing experiences I had at Gulani Vision Institute. My just one day experience was enough to prove the capability of GVI to change the vision of the entire world.
Being from a medical profession, I know how it feels when a patient is crying of happy tears after his surgery. In my 9 years of medical experience I have seen just couple of them being happy and very few being content of what they got out of a surgery. I haven’t seen so many patients crying tears of happiness in just a single day. I can’t believe my eyes, consecutively three patients just cried in front of me as if they got something which they haven’t imagined in their dreams. I was spellbound looking at their expressions they had on their faces that something impossible have happened to them.
Talking about United States of America is very tiny in GVI, here we see patients from all over the world. In just three days I have seen patients from Morocco, United Kingdom and Germany. Daily, I am seeing patients coming from all parts of the world or distant areas of USA. I have seen patients flying miles just for a picture with Dr. Gulani or to share their experience on videos. Yes, the same videos which before coming to this miraculous place I have been thinking were mere actors performing for GVI. They were true patients sharing their happiness in front of my own eyes. Majority of patients don’t just want to shake hands and good bye but they want to hug Dr. Gulani before leaving.
Also the educational exposure I am having at GVI is amazing. On my first day at GVI, I saw patients of Keratoconus, previous surgery complications, Pterygium, Cataract all in just one day. It was astounding to see Post op Pterygium Day 1 patient. They didn’t even look like that they had surgery on their eyes a day before. No redness, no swelling, no excoriating pain. The most thrilling part was to see legally blind patients walking in the hallway on their first post Lasik day with joy of their unaided vision. This is the place where miracle happens every Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Most importantly, the unparalleled patient care which GVI provides to patients is fantabulous. Every patient is been taken care of as a family member. This is the first office I have ever seen, where the patient care begins from his very first inquiry and it continues till years. In GVI patients don’t have to search for their doctor. Here, their doctor is in their regular contact from the very beginning till years after that.
You must have heard a saying “A busy person always has time for everything” Dr. Arun Gulani is a perfect live example of this. I am so amazed to see his time management, that in spite being so busy, he still has time for everything. He is always approachable for even a small question from his patients, his staff or other doctors. That also makes him different from other doctors. I have seen very few or to be honest, not a single doctor who has this kind of passion for his profession and patients as well. Truly speaking Dr. Gulani has a real passion to help people see.Dr. Parul S. (Eye Doctor).
Nova South Eastern University
My Experience Shadowing the World’s VisionaryMr. Mohan R.
I learnt from Dr. Gulani about being compassionate to patients, colleagues and staff, about raising the bar on ourselves to deliver the best and about translating innovation into standard of care.The difference with many physicians I have shadowed so far and Dr. Gulani is his commitment to patient’s surgical outcomes, vision >20/20, giving his cell phone, being on a first name basis, etc.
Dr. Gulani has given me a valuable insight into the true virtues and realities of medicine, ultimately helping me understand principles of compassion and thought that separates a great surgeon from a “routine”one.Aspiring for perfection in every patient and aiming for >20/20 vision while many other physicians would be ok with 20/20 vision.Dr. Gulani’s focus solely on the patient and the magnitude of care is yet to be matched by any other physician I have shadowed.
I witnessed Dr. Gulani’s great interaction and care for patients which gives them much knowledge of ophthalmology to a degree that “Patients know more than many other eye doctors they may have visited before seeking Dr. Gulani.”Although I am still in high-school, Dr. Gulani had given me so much attention and time but most importantly, taught me values I will take with me forever. Dr. Gulani has shown me how dedication to the well-being of others is fundamental to improving patient care as a physician.
Dr. Gulani, and now, I feel that staff should be a family that is developed through a mutually professional relationship.I admire Dr. Gulani’s work at sharing his approach to medicine to eye surgeons around the world.This dedication of patient care ranking well over financial incentive truly inspires me and so I develop both an understanding and growth in moral values as a student and as a person.This experience will help me understand what fundamental characteristics make-up a world renowned physician and how I, too, can mature to be like one.
North Western University
(Dr. Gulani while teaching at the American Academy Conference in Chicago visited Mohan at Kellogg – Northwestern University, where he aspired to be after training at GulaniVision.)
Hi Dr. Gulani this is Nathalya
I will be moving by March 8, to California. I’m so sad and Heart broken. This been my first and best job I ever got to Enjoy, learn in every way, and feel motivated every day walking in to the office; and most important Dr thank you for changing my mind set about becoming a doctor my self.
Your passion, your love, your dedication, your inspiration and your attention for your patience are incredible. You inspire me to do so much more for those who actually need help and to becoming a doctor. It’s not a step like everybody else see.
If I told you I was actually scared to study medicine or become a doctor for one simple reason “it’s to work for somebody else my whole life” and I never felt that becoming a Doctor That I could be my own boss and have my own facility and work on my own pace.
Thank you Doctor For taking the time and the passion of teaching me and teaching me more than just the medical but also about life and how to help people. Once again thank you for changing my mind set, it is different to be a doctor especially to be a doctor like you who helps patients, performs miracles and then cares for them for life.
I will always thank you for this opportunity you have given me.
Thank you so much 🙏 Dr. GulaniNathalya C.
I would like to share this past week’s experience with all of my friends and family. I had the opportunity to shadow and follow Dr. Gulani through this amazing journey. I met patients from all over the country and around the world. I was able to observe Dr. Gulani correct previously botched surgeries and see patients on the day following surgery.
What Dr. Gulani did best was change each, and everyone’s life that came through the office, especially when other surgeons said nothing could be done. I am so thankful for the opportunity Dr. Gulani gave me.Rohun T.
This past Friday I had the pleasure to shadow Dr. Arun C. Gulani. His unbelievable passion for his patient’s and his work is remarkable.
I am very grateful for this opportunity and learned so much under his supervision. Thank you for all you do!Neel P.
Today I had the honor of shadowing Dr. Gulani. I was able to witness first hand how he designs surgeries, unleashes technology, and makes the impossible possible. I witnessed Dr. Gulani work with patients from all over the world who were referred to him by some of the worlds most renowned institutions. His amazing surgical skills, beautiful results, and wonderful personal care were beyond inspiring. Thank you so much for this opportunity!Aanchal S.
The experience that I gained here could only be considered a “once in a lifetime opportunity”. As a person who has just began to understand this field, I feel that I have already gained a vast amount of knowledge in the short time that I have been here. I was able to learn many of the ocular pathology of the eye and was able to watch many clinical procedures that were done. Dr. Gulani always took the time to explain to me what was going on.Choung D.
Being able to work with Dr. Gulani has been a great pleasure. As an intern under Dr. Gulani, I felt that he always went out of his way to help me gain a thorough insight of this field. When I did not understand anything quite clearly, Dr. Gulani took time out to explain it. Dr. Gulani also went as far as to supply me with books on ophthalmology so that I could get an in depth knowledge of this field. I also felt that Dr. Gulani treated me with dignity and respect. He did not look over my shoulder at everything that I did, but allowed me to work freely on many projects that were assigned to me. I felt as if I was one of his colleague, and not just an ordinary intern.
The Gulani Vision staff has always gone out of their way to make everyone feel at home. Everyone here enjoys works what they do and always do a little more to make it better. I felt that everyone here always go out of their own way to make this place even more successfull. This stretches from making courtesy calls to check up on patients and to bringing in snacks and drinks for patients on the day of surgery.
The atmosphere that one would get when walking into the Gulani Vision Institute is like being at home. Dr. Gulani and his staff does so much to make every patients feel relaxed. Everyone that walks through the office is greeted in a fashionable manner. Concerns that are generally expressed, such as ocular symptoms, are taken into account the minute that the patient comes in. This, I see, is a very important criteria for any office, as it really helps the patient throughout the time that he or she is there.
I am so inspired that I have decided to become an eye doctor myself.
University Of North Florida (2005)
(Dr. Choung got accepted into School of Optometry in Boston and visited us in 2009)
My Eye Opening Experience at Gulani Vision InstituteDr. Rajesh D. (Eye Surgeon) MS,DNB,FMRF
As a practicing eye surgeon I have always believed in comprehensive ophthalmic practice and to this effect I have been performing both anterior segment and vitreo retinal surgeries in my patients which basically includes phaco emulsification, glaucoma surgeries, vitreo retinal surgeries buckles,vitrectomies ,angiographies, ultrasound, lasers (argon/yag), and even oculoplastic procedures.
Since I have fellowships from premier Institutes in India, I am comfortable performing all these procedures and have always been satisfied with the spectrum of my practice in the past 5 years.
One area of my practice has been cornea .Although I have also been formally trained in LASIK surgery and I have performed it in my patients quite successfully it has mainly been on “normal” patients requiring cosmetic corrections.
Since most of the cases of cornea are medical cases and penetrating keratoplasty has a guarded prognosis I believe this is as far as most ophthalmologists venture in their practice of cornea which is also because of a chronic shortage of donor corneal tissue.
However at Gulani Vision Institute when I observed the wide spectrum of corneal pathologies successfully rehabilitated and that also with minimal invasive procedures I had an eye opening experience.
Using the Excimer laser as a tool to sculpt the cornea and to use the cornea as a final platform for 20/20 vision is what “Corneoplastique” emphasizes. Also it stresses on using alternative methods like intra corneal rings and amniotic membrane transplants to treat seemingly hopeless cases.
Dr. Gulani has coined the term “Corneoplastique” to emphasize the importance of the cornea and rightly so.
The point is that it is not necessary that all seemingly bad cases have to undergo a keratoplasty .
At a zero percent recurrence rate, the technique of Amniotic membrane transplant is definitely a promising one besides being cosmetically pleasing to the patient.
The positive patient feed back that I am a witness to emphasizes that we should give the pterygium more attention than it is being given to presently . Patients with recurrent pterygia are miserable but after the procedure they were very grateful to Dr Gulani.
Intra corneal rings can definitely reduce the mean keratometry of the cornea thereby allowing CL wear and allowing the patient to avoid surgery besides being a short procedure which has no major issues like rejection and the central portion of the cornea remains clear .Besides it is reversible and you can always do a PK at a later date.
The DSAEK procedure involving descemets stripping is a very exciting and promising procedure performed at the Gulani Vision Institute . In case of a dysfunctional corneal endothelium all one is required to do is to replace the descemets and endothelium with a donor graft .It is refractively neutral and rehabilitation is rapid. No PK required. Anterior and posterior Lamellar surgeries I witnessed I believe can now help in better utilization of a single cornea.
And not to forget the patients who were miserable after previous RK/HK/AK procedures. I observed how Dr Gulani converted these corneas into functional and stable corneas with the excimer and advanced surface ablation to reduce the irregular astigmatism and give 20/20 vision. When I studied these cases I realized that it was so logical and promising.
Scars treated with the Excimer laser can bring the greatest joy both to the surgeons and the patients . It is nothing short of a miracle. Earlier these patients would have to undergo a tedious PK or live with it.
I have seen patients with keratoconus ambulatory in 1 week happy with a minor corneal ring segment procedure or a anterior lamellar graft. Also Fuch’s dystrophy cured without a PK – out and about in a week Band keratopathy treated without a donor cornea and a four time recurrent pterygium at peace.
I must thank Dr. Gulani for allowing me to witness and grasp all the latest advanced procedures that he performs which I believe are the frontier of refractive surgery that all and one should try to achieve.
I hope my patients hug me the same way when I promise them these alternatives as the patients I have seen hugging Dr. Gulani.
University of Mumbai- INDIA
Last Friday I had an opportunity that many people could only dream about. I spent my day observing my new employer in his daily setting. Dr. Arun C. Gulani hired me to work with him as a research assistant in his efforts to publish his current medical innovations. But before we could get down to work, Dr. Gulani wanted me to get to know the nuts-and-bolts of his practice, so I could experience the personal philosophy and see firsthand the groundbreaking work that is being done right here in Jacksonville.Cari B.
Dr. Gulani met patients with varying needs and complexities. Yes, going out into the 7 star Lobby (not “waiting room”) and personally shaking hands to welcome them. Some of them were new patients, and some were patients in recovery just following up. A few of them had been sent to see Dr. Gulani because other eye surgeons had thrown in the towel. Two of them were doctors themselves. Some were Jacksonville residents, but many were coming from out of state and even out of the country. Every one of them was new to me, but they all struck me as having one thing in common: they had all put their confidence in this man to handle one of life’s most precious gifts – the ability to see.
Now when it comes to doctors and medicine, you could say I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve been working in and around this field for more than ten years in varying settings. I’ve had different job titles and responsibilities, so I’ve seen my share of the bad and the good. I can go out on a limb without hesitation and say that Dr. Gulani’s practice is unique. Sure it has all the hallmarks of a successful medical office: chairs in the waiting room, staff members at the desk to greet you, and the doctor’s accomplishments listed on the wall. But at the Gulani Vision Institute, the chairs are empty. “My patients don’t wait when they come in for an appointment,” Dr. Gulani told me. The staff members at the desk are certainly there, but they are more professional and polite than anywhere else I’ve been. There is no sense of chaos or stress that seems ever-present in other offices. And those accomplishments on the wall, let’s just say that Dr. Gulani’s accomplishments can’t be summed up with a few measly pieces of paper like you might see somewhere else. Images of the surgical instruments he invented, descriptions of his trail-blazing techniques, research publications, and countless accolades from his overjoyed patients all span a whole section of his waiting room. His own innovations in continuing the tradition of raising the bar in eye surgery are clearly displayed for his patients in a manner most closely resembling a museum. “I want my patients to feel at ease and welcomed from the moment that they arrive in our institute,” Dr. Gulani explained to me, “There shouldn’t be any fear, hype or unease when you enter these doors.”
It’s a lot to soak in, true. So much success in another person might seem braggadocios. But in Dr. Gulani’s case, this success is grounded in sincerity and humility. His entryway “museum” also offers his gratitude to his own teachers and world masters from whom he learned. “You can never forget that there is always more to learn,” He told me, “Every patient is special to me”. “Their unique histories and specific conditions continually remind me to set the bar, and then raise it still further.”
I won’t go into all the clinical details except to say that Dr. Gulani is an expert in matters relating to the Advanced Vision Surgery and vision itself. He sees patients from all over the world – all anxious to seek his expertise. Where other physicians simply choose a pre-determined procedure to apply to a patient, Dr. Gulani goes the extra mile and plans a custom-made surgery specifically designed to treat the individual patient. It’s something like buying a suit off the rack. It’s easy to walk into a store and buy a suit that claims to be your size. But wouldn’t it be better to ask the tailor to make the suit according to your specifications, not the other way around? Where your health and safety is concerned, is there any other choice? I watched him explain these details to his patients with inquiries about the whole range of Laser Vision Surgery options, from LASIK, LASEK, SBK, Epi-LASK, ASA, Bladeless LASIK, to PRK. He helped patients with chronic dry-eye, cataracts, corneal transplant, pterygium, pinguecula, Keratoconus and ICL. Each patient got a treatment option that was unique to his or her needs, but they all got the same pledge of dedication and commitment. It was clearly evident that whatever they needed, nobody else other than Dr. Gulani would work harder to give it to them.
My experience with Dr. Gulani really got me thinking about the differences between being a patient at the Gulani Vision Institute, as opposed to somewhere else. Why have we as a culture settled for “standards of care” at other facilities? How did that phrase even become acceptable jargon? In a time when we have more ways to order coffee than I can count, a different cut of jeans for every day of the week, how have we allowed our health care system to fall so far? It’s one more way that Dr. Gulani has pulled ahead of the pack. His office staff is equally ready, professional, and caring. I’ve never seen any other practice that allows the family and friends to sit down and spend any amount of time they need to discuss options and concern in a private, comfortably furnished room. Shouldn’t we all expect more from our choice in surgeons? Don’t we deserve individualized care?
I could go on for pages relaying all that I witnessed as a fly on the wall at Gulani Vision Institute, but I’ll settle instead for a summary of these awesome experiences in an attempt at brevity.
One of Dr. Gulani’s first patients had been told by other doctors that there was nothing that could be done to repair the damage from her previous Radial Keratotomy (RK) surgery. She came in for her follow up, and I watched her demonstrate her 20/20 vision. Tearfully smiling from ear to ear, she wanted to take as many brochures as she could carry to her community in South Florida. She said she’d come back with a busload of friends for Dr. Gulani to meet. She also sat down to do a video testimonial; she wanted to share her experience with other patients who have been told by surgeons simply to go home and live with glasses.
I scurried along behind him as he greeted patients in the exam rooms with a blend of joyful introduction and solemn concern. Each with varying conditions, but all of these people similar in their gratitude. When he was between patients he was doing all of those little things that most of us don’t even know are missing until someone goes that extra mile. I watched him educate another eye surgeon who was shadowing him in preparation for his Board Exams in London. He returned emails of past patients who were updating him of their accomplishments, looking up to him as a source of inspiration in becoming the “Dr. Gulanis” of their professions. I watched him call a patient who had come from Australia – just to be sure the patient had had a safe flight home.
I saw Dr. Gulani sitting down with a concerned family of a young man – the way you might sit in a living room with your own family. The young man had come from Puerto Rico with poor vision that severely influenced his daily life. Dr. Gulani explained this man’s options and then surprising them all by not charging for his extensive consult.
It’s not just me who is anxious to talk about my time with Dr. Gulani. His patient from New York was calling with ideas of how to spread Dr. Gulani’s name in the North East. Many patients stood their turns to take pictures with Dr. Gulani before leaving, each of them anxious of get home and boast about “Gulani Vision Experience” to their families and friends. I guess it shouldn’t be that surprising to me, given my current writing project, but I’m amazed that these patients take it upon themselves to spread the news about this unmatched experience. Think about. When have you liked a trip to the doctor’s office this much? When have you heard someone else talk about their awesome experience at the eye doctor?
I’ll close with a short description of the activities of the patient whose care astounded me the most. I’ll call her Veronica, although that is not her real name. The shape of Veronica’s cornea (Keratoconus) prevented Dr. Gulani from performing her Cataract surgery as easily as he might have liked. Dr Gulani explained it to me as, “A scale where both sides must come out to zero. It’s not enough to have simply +1 on the left, -1 on right and they equate to 0. Both sides must be perfect.” Dr. Gulani was not happy with the “standards of care” that someone else might have found acceptable. He spent the weekend before her surgery alone in his office making sure each calculation would come out precisely and accurately. But by Sunday night he was still not satisfied, and he called Veronica to tell her they would need to reschedule for the following week. The next Sunday the scene repeated itself with Dr. Gulani in his office — away from his wife and kids – working tirelessly to ensure this complicated patient would receive nothing but the best from him. Again he was unsatisfied with the results, and again she was rescheduled. This happened four times. Four weekends away from the family, and four open surgical spots that could not be refilled on short notice. Dr. Gulani did not receive any additional compensation for these efforts (indeed one could argue that the open surgery spot represented a loss of profit), nor did anyone else see this level of dedication – expect of course, Dr. Gulani’s family, who certainly felt his absence, and Veronica herself. Finally, when Dr. Gulani was sure his calculations and Veronica’s therapies were perfectly aligned, he proceeded and performed Veronica’s surgery. I saw Veronica as she arrived for her follow up. She was so grateful with her new vision; she couldn’t stop expressing her gratitude. “You just don’t know,” she told me, “I just can’t describe how much better I feel about life, about everything.”
I know there will be some people who read this article and hear only an employee trying to impress her new boss with laudable words and compliments. But I hope that most of you will take this article as a call to action. I hope you will learn from my experience and realize that that there is great service still out there in the medical community. We need only raise our expectations and set the bar high in order to separate the excellent surgeon from the “standard of care.” I encourage all of you to think about the level of care you are receiving from your current physician. Does your doctor greet you by name, or check in with your progress after you have healed and gone your merry way? We have such a surgeon right here in Jacksonville whose excellent service is recognized all around the world, by patients and doctors alike. He is turning our city of Jacksonville into the vision destination of the world.
At the end of the day I asked Dr. Gulani if this had been just a regular day. He told me with a smile, “Pretty typical, yes.”
Dr. Gulani’s impact on others’ lives isn’t just limited to those he teaches, but includes his patients as well. We at Gulani Vision Institute are honored to help patients get back into their lives with new-found confidence and vision!