Dr. Marc F. Comaratta, ARC Fellow
Dr. Marc F. Comaratta was born in Buffalo, New York and lived there for most of his life. Following in the footsteps of both his dad and his aunt before him, he earned his BA at Saint Lawrence University and then returned home to complete his MD at the University at Buffalo. Going into medical school he originally thought he wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon. Though his dad was a retina surgeon, he had little interest in ophthalmology until he sat in on a day in the operating room with his father, which sparked his interest. By his third year of medical school he had narrowed his future career into one of two choices – specialize in ophthalmology and go into retina or do neurosurgery. After elective rotations in both fields, ophthalmology won out.
At 26 he left Buffalo and headed out west, undertaking an internship in Denver, Colorado at the Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center. He then moved to Seattle for his three-year residency in Ophthalmology at the University of Washington, during which time he met his girlfriend Hannah. When Marc looked around for a premier retina fellowship he threw his hat in the ring for the program at Associated Retina Consultants. As fate would have it, they were a good fit. The interview went well, and in December of 2015, he received an email telling him that he had been matched with ARC in Phoenix.
He arrived in Arizona during the month of June when the weather was a perfect 120 degrees. He was quick to note that the heat was pretty brutal those first weeks, but he soon acclimated and grew to love Phoenix. Now he embraces the climate and spends what little free time he has mountain biking through the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, hiking awesome trails such as the Devil’s Bridge in Sedona and trying out new restaurants that his girlfriend Hannah finds. Marc highly recommends happy hour at the Windsor for their comfort food and retro cocktails.
Dr Marc Comaratta is soon to complete his second year in the retina fellowship. “It has everything you could want in a fellowship”, he acknowledged. “You get an excellent surgical experience, and a great breadth of different approaches to the same problem, allowing you to craft your own style.” He finds working in the Maricopa County Eye Clinic to be most rewarding, helping the high-risk diabetic population preserve their vision for a lifetime. He explained further, “You start out operating in awe of everyone you train with, and then you create who you are by looking at the best of everybody. Medically you see an incredible spectrum of pathology–the same breadth of pathology you would see at any large academic retina institution, because for Phoenix, that’s what we are. Everything from trauma to inherited retinal disease to rare uveitis cases. It’s a hidden gem, comparable to any other world renowned training program, and probably better than most because the attending’s really let you take the reigns surgically.” Marc added, “Phoenix is a great place to live and a great place to spend 2 years”.
After graduating in June, Marc will head to Bozeman, Montana and take over his father’s practice, Montana Retina Consultants. Dr. Comaratta plans to re-acclimate to below zero weather. He is sure to bring his guitar along and jam to a little Neil Young with his brother, a New York musician by trade.