This month, Baptist Eye Surgeons welcomes Dr. Erik Sweet as the newest member of our team. Dr. Sweet is a comprehensive ophthalmologist with a passion for educating his patients and making sure they feel heard. We look forward to him joining our practice and the enthusiasm that he brings.
Education and Training
Dr. Sweet holds a Bachelor in Science and Biochemistry from State University of New York at Genesco, as well as an Associate in Business from Oakland Community College before he decided to pursue medicine as his career. He earned his medical degree from the William Beaumont School of Medicine at Oakland University in Michigan.
Dr. Sweet was drawn to comprehensive ophthalmology because it allows him to be able to do a variety of things without specializing in one particular area. It also allows him to provide treatments across a wide spectrum that other specialized ophthalmologists may not be able to do.
One such treatment is intravitreal injections, which treats certain pathologies of the retina. Dr. Sweet is also able to perform standard and multifocal or specialty lenses for cataract surgery, as well as office procedures such as the removal of eyelid lesions.
In addition, he is able to perform multiple treatments for glaucoma. This includes minimally invasive glaucoma surgery as well as laser treatments. Many glaucoma sufferers struggle with the burden of having to apply medications every day. Dr. Sweet is able to use lasers to help minimize this burden and provide lasting relief.
Dr. Sweet can also provide treatment for an extensive variety of specific diseases including diabetes, diabetic retinopathy, and diabetic macular edema. This is a brief list of examples of the eye diseases that he is able to treat in his patients. Chances are that if you have an eye disease that needs treatment, Dr. Sweet will be able to diagnose and treat it without a problem.
Dr. Sweet’s Passion for Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Dr. Sweet’s passion for ophthalmology began after going on a medical mission trip. On the trip, he began to understand the need for comprehensive eye care both internationally and locally. For him, ophthalmology is longitudinal and establishes doctor-patient relationships that span decades.
It’s not a see you once, treat the problem, and then it’s done, never see you again situation. It’s kind of like primary care where sometimes you end up seeing patients for 20, 30, 40 years and can build relationships. But it’s also something that’s surgical so when there is a major problem that needs taken care of, then often surgery can do that.
Dr. Sweet is also drawn to the fact that true comprehensive ophthalmology allows him to do a little bit of everything. As a comprehensive ophthalmologist, he gets to treat:
- Cornea problems
- Glaucoma issues
- Neurological ophthalmic issues
- Surgeries and office procedures
- Retina problems
Many ophthalmologists choose to focus on and specialize in a certain area of eye care. However, there’s no real limit to what’s possible when it comes to comprehensive ophthalmology. As Dr. Sweet puts it, “…I wanted to do a little bit of everything because I love everything. So that’s why I chose to do comprehensive.”
Common Misconceptions About Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Many of the misconceptions surrounding ophthalmology that Dr. Sweet encounters have to do with glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. This is usually the result of patients having watched their parents go blind from those diseases and they naturally fear that they’ll experience the same result.
Fortunately, we’ve come a long way in the past 40 years. We now have treatments that will prevent you from going blind and allow you to keep your vision for as long as you live.
Another common misconception is that traditional or laser surgery will be painful. Dr. Sweet has noted that the experience is a lot better for the majority of his patients and that they often wish they had done it sooner.
What You Can Expect While in Dr. Sweet’s Care
Dr. Sweet prefers to let patients “steer the ship,” so to speak. He prefers to let you make the major decisions and he makes sure everything is prepared when you’re ready. He wants you to be involved in the care and doesn’t want to make unilateral decisions for you.
Dr. Sweet believes that the doctor-patient relationship is a partnership between him and his patients. He feels that, all too often, patients are left being told what to do without understanding what exactly is going on. This can help prevent undergoing unnecessary exams or treatments and can save you time and money in the long run.
One of Dr. Sweet’s greatest strengths is real-world experience. Before medicine, he spent some time in the business world. There he learned the importance of communication and education. He’s not satisfied with telling you that everything will be okay. He wants you to understand everything, feel genuinely cared for, and to not feel rushed.
Excited to Begin at Baptist Eye and Care for His Patients
Dr. Sweet is extremely excited to start at Baptist Eye surgeons this summer. He can’t wait to book appointments and begin working with patients.
I love everything I do and as far as I can tell Baptist is going to continue that…working with my patients…hearing about them and their problems, helping them solve what their problems are, and at least giving them direction, I love interacting with my office mates…I don’t know what I don’t look forward to, frankly.
We’re excited to have Dr. Sweet join us as well, and we’re sure that you’ll love being his patient.
How Dr. Sweet Enjoys His Free Time
Being married with four kids and a fifth on the way, Dr. Sweet likes to joke that he doesn’t know what free time is. When not working, he’s focused on spending as much time with his family as possible. This includes being outdoors every chance they get. They love hiking, swimming, and kayaking, and the kids love learning the fundamentals of outdoor life.
Something he looks forward to every year is what he calls his manventure. This is a long international trip he and some friends take every year (with the permission of his wife, of course). He and his buddies enjoy scuba diving, volcano boarding, canyoning, and recording it all on their drones.
We are thrilled to have Dr. Sweet joining us this July. We look forward to the distinct skills he brings to our practice, as well as his enthusiasm for comprehensive ophthalmology and life in general. You will appreciate his care, passion for education, and the time he puts into all of his patients.
Baptist Eye Surgeons is an ophthalmological practice in Knoxville, TN, and Morristown, TN. Visit our website to meet our doctors and learn more about our specialties, or give us a call at 865-579-3920 for more information or to schedule an appointment.