In his first year of performing eye surgeries a decade ago, Edgewater ophthalmologist Dr. Orest Krajnyk encountered two facts of life he wasn’t taught in medical school.First, “never say never” when treating patients with vision problems.
Second, when everything else fails, remember those ‘survival guide’ lessons your parents taught you as a child.
Both Dr. Krajnyk’s medical training at an elite northeastern university and the simple wisdom of his blue-collar New Jersey parents would come into play when the young ophthalmologist was confronted with a case of blindness other doctors had determined was hopeless.“A veteran with cataracts and extensive retina problems was told that nothing could be done to restore his sight,” recalled the graduate of Rutgers University-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “I couldn’t accept that decision and convinced a colleague that since the patient was already blind there wasn’t anything to lose.”
The eye operation was performed- and the young surgeon’s persistence paid off. When the patient returned the next day for a post-surgery examination, his vision had been restored to 20/20, said Dr. Krajnyk, who owns Precision Eye Institute at 2568 S Ridgewood Ave in Edgewater.
“That was an incredible moment for both of us,” he recalls. “The patient was overjoyed, so excited to see again, and we celebrated with him.”
After graduating from medical school at 25, the newly-minted doctor began his ophthalmology residency at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, training under some of the top eye surgeons in the northeast.
But he is also quick to credit his parents, immigrants from Poland, for always encouraging him to aim high and be persistent in life.
“They were not very well educated but the values they taught me included, always doing the best I could, pay attention to the smallest details, and be persistent-to never give up,” Dr. Krajnyk said. “As proud as I am of my Ivy League education, it pales in comparison to what my parents taught me.”
When his father died when the aspiring physician was only 17, he said it was an event that “had a big effect on me and made me think differently about life and how you have to live, love and serve each other now, not sometime in the future.”
“My dad was in the construction business and told me not to make a living as he had done by using his hands, but to use my head,” Dr. Krajnyk said. “I followed his advice, but I used both. My mother taught me to be persistent and to succeed and not give up when confronted with problems.”
Ten years after finishing the ophthalmology residency, the 35-year-old physician had performed more than 2,000 cataract procedures and more than 4,000 laser surgical procedures.
“I love taking care of my patients,” he says. “It’s not about money, it’s about people. My passion in life is to help people see better, to have better vision.”In medical terms, Dr. Krajnyk is proficient in advanced small incision cataract surgery and premium astigmatism correcting and multifocal implants.
“But we also do regular eye exams and have an in-house optician to make eyeglasses,” he says. “We want people to know that when they come to us, we offer full-service eye care, not just surgeries.”
Between 2012 and 2015, Dr. Krajnyk was an ophthalmologist for Kutryb Eye Institute and bought the Edgewater office in January 2016.
Since then, the practice has enjoyed steady growth and will open a second office in September 1 in New Smyrna Beach at 424 Luna Bella Lane, Suite 127, in Tuscany Square of Venetian Bay.
Dr. Krajnyk, who is Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, graduated with High Honors from Rutgers University where he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. In his professional career, he has presented papers at the national meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and at the American Medical Association Research Symposium, where he was awarded honorable mention for his research.But, he says he also learns from his patients.
“I listen very carefully and value their input when discussing eye care needs,” Dr. Krajnyk says, “We don’t want our patients to feel like they are a number. We want people to feel at home in our office and know that we will treat them with respect.”
Precision Eye Institute utilizes the most up to date technology and research, he adds.
“When someone comes into our office, whether for a routine eye exam, glasses, or a surgical procedure, we will deliver care compassionately,” Dr. Krajnyk says, “And with new technology, we can even help them see without glasses.”
The medical doctor is married to his wife, Jessica, a fitness coach and Registered Nurse, and they have two children, a son, Luka, 6, and a daughter, Aleksa,3.
For an appointment to Precision Eye Institute, call (386) 424-1422 or contact here