Seeing the Details: Region's Only Ophthalmic Pathologist Brings Expertise to Albany Med Health System

It isn’t an exaggeration to say that the expertise of Nada Farhat, MD, is changing the way people see the world for the better.

Fellowship-trained in the specialty of ophthalmic pathology, Dr. Farhat plays a critical role in providing advanced and precise diagnoses for patients who are seeking eye care throughout the Albany Med Health System. She is the only fellowship-trained ophthalmic pathologist in the Capital Region and one of only a handful in the United States.

“When I came to Albany, I was really attracted to the culture of the departments of Pathology and Ophthalmology,” Dr. Farhat said. “There’s a real enthusiasm for this work and the role that pathology can play in providing a true 360-degree experience for our patients.”

Part of her interest in initially coming to Albany Medical Center was the institution’s status as the only academic medical center in northeastern New York.

“I have the pleasure of working with a great team of physicians who value the perspective and insight I bring,” Dr. Farhat said. “There are also enthusiastic residents who are passionate about learning and want to know more about how pathology can improve patient care.”

What is Ophthalmic Pathology?
Simply put, ophthalmic pathology is the study of diseases of the eye. Dr. Farhat’s expertise in this area is invaluable to Edward Wladis, MD, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology. When there is an unclear diagnosis for a patient, Dr. Wladis can lean on a more in-depth analysis from Dr. Farhat to better diagnose complex conditions and come up with a more precise treatment plan.

“We can evaluate a patient pre-operatively and understand the significance in terms of patient care,” Dr. Wladis said. “Performing the perfect surgery is great, but if you don’t know what it means, then you don’t know exactly how to care for the patient. Having Dr. Farhat’s knowledge fills a missing piece in the care we provide.”

One key to providing that high quality of care is collaboration with clinicians across the System.

“Subspecialty trained pathologists elevate the level of care that patients receive in the Albany Med Health System,” said Sandra Shin, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. “Expertise like that of Dr. Farhat’s is singular in our region.”

A Game-Changing Resource
Dr. Farhat’s education and training took place at some of the leading medical centers in the world, from New York City and Boston to the Middle East. She’s established a vast network of colleagues which affords her the opportunity to speak with and continue to learn from experts at nationally and internationally recognized institutions.

The result is a faster and more accurate diagnosis for patients of all ages—something that Dr. Wladis said “would be more difficult to come up with in complex cases” without that expertise.

“Pathology is a cornerstone of all medicine,” Dr. Farhat said. “We can provide a comprehensive analysis to definitively say what’s there. That has a meaningful impact for patients and their families."