Meet Dr. Vogel

December 14, 2016

p1010046All of our doctors have a story, and we want to share them with you. First in our “Meet the Doctors” series is Dr. Robert Vogel. Dr. Vogel is our retina specialist. He completed his residency at the University of Virginia and received specialty training in the area of retinal and vitreous surgery at the University of Texas in Houston.  Dr. Vogel’s expertise includes treating patients with diabetes, macular degeneration, “floaters,” retinal detachments, and other retinal problems using some of the area’s most advanced technology available. When Dr. Vogel isn’t in our office, he’s working in his law office. Yes, Dr. Vogel is also an attorney. In addition to being accomplished in both ophthalmology and law, he also values time with his family and athletic pursuits. Learn more about what makes Dr. Vogel unique below.

What’s one thing you wish every patient knew?

Dr. Vogel: I try to make it obvious, but I care about more than just their eyes. I care about them as a person.

How do you spend your down time?

Dr. Vogel: I put my family and grandkids at the top of my list. I consider them the most important thing in my life. Also, I have a lot of athletic endeavors. Right now, I’m a rower and I do single man skull. I’m a cross country and downhill skier, and a bike rider. I’m remodeling an old cabin. I always have a million things going on. People who know me know that I always stay busy.

What made you want to become an ophthalmologist?

Dr. Vogel: I think that starts with why I wanted to be a physician in the first place. I always kid around and say I was born with a golden stethoscope in my ears. My mom and dad really wanted me to be a physician from early in life. Ultimately, I became a physician because I feel it suits my personality.

I consider myself to be very empathetic, and I really try to relate to who the patient is. For example, my first question when I walk in the room is always “How are you?” I want to know how the person is, my first question is never related directly to their eyes. Their eyes are just a small part of what is going on with them.  

Ophthalmologists get to make a big difference in people’s lives, generally in a very positive way. Patients are usually very satisfied with their visits to the eye doctor, and I like that. Cataract surgery and retinal surgery can change someone’s life, quickly and sometimes permanently.

Why did you choose to be a retina specialist?

Dr. Vogel: I don’t know but, I thank God for it. Like I said before, I would not want to be a doctor if I couldn’t be an opthamologist specifically, a retina specialist. I just love retina.

To me, it’s the most creative of the opthamologic specialties. I also like how you see the results of your work quickly. When you repair retinal detachments or take blood out of the eye of a diabetic, you see a lot of changes quickly.

Other surgeons see their patients maybe once a year, I see my retinal patients more often and get to form a relationship with them. To me, the relationship is the most important part of being a doctor. If I didn’t get to know the patients, medicine wouldn’t be as satisfying for me.

What brought you to Piedmont Eye Center?

Dr. Vogel: I did my residency at UVA, and went to Texas to do my retina fellowship for two years. But I love Central Virginia and I knew I wanted to come back. When I was looking, I found several options to come back to the area, including Piedmont Eye Center. One of the best parts of my work life has been that Dr. Lotano and I were able to join together and to grow Piedmont Eye Center into the premiere multi-specialty practice in Central Virginia. This was kind of our dream, to have 8 doctors and a nice building.

What made you want to be a lawyer in addition to being an ophthamologist?

Dr. Vogel: My personality lends itself to being inquisitive and wanting to know a lot about a lot of different things. Also, my wife is an attorney. I did some expert witness work and that really got me interested in the profession. With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, I had some strong feelings about the fact that medicine was going to change in the United States. I really wanted to be up on those changes and be able to help Piedmont Eye Center with the transition. Currently, I have a burgeoning health law practice,write a blog on health law compliance, and teach health law at Liberty University’s medical and law schools. Additionally, I’m trying to keep my hand in health law.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Dr. Vogel: My work is generally successful. People are, for the most part, satisfied with the outcomes. This is kind of rare in medicine. I set expectations appropriately and people are excited to see their eyesight change.

What Our Patients Think

  • Riley Hart /
  • Staci Hamlett /
    I couldn't recommend a better doctor, a better facility, and I'm so glad I did it.
  • Brenda Edson in front of a brick home
    Brenda Edson /
    "I could not have asked for a better experience at Piedmont Eye Center. From my very first visit, the staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and genuinely interested in me."
  • Bobby Moore /
    "I wish I would have done it many years ago now."
  • Bryan Mitchell outside of a football stadium
    Bryan Mitchell / ANALYST
    "My vision was the best it had been since I was a teen. I had my LASIK surgery performed almost 2 years ago, and it is as good today as it was then."
  • Caroline Trexler /
    "They ensured that the entire process from preliminary appointments to follow up visits went seamlessly – the perfect team that gave me perfect vision."
    "All and all, this has been a very pleasant and beneficial period for me. I recommend it highly for anyone in a similar situation.'
  • Cynthia Stewart standing outside
    Cynthia /
    "I feel almost like a new person It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning and be able to actually see across the room without fumbling for my glasses. "
  • Frances / RETIRED
    "Dr. Ceballos has always been very positive, clarifying everything medically, never leaving me in doubt and has always made me feel special and important."
  • Guy / RETIRED
    "The procedure was painless, and now I’m happy to say I only wear glasses to read. I have 20/20 vision in my left eye and 20/25 in my right. "
  • Janice Bloom standing in front of a tree
    "Dr. Bowers and his staff treated me with the utmost in professional care, making sure I was comfortable throughout the entire process."
  • Barbara / RETIRED
    "The procedure was pain free and I am so pleased with the results. It was money well spent and it is unbelievable how clear and colorful everything is. I want to tell Dr. Bowers and his staff how grateful I am."
  • Jerome / RETIRED
    "Doctor Vogel has treated me professionally as has his staff. They have been caring and have answered my questions to my satisfaction."
  • Jon Dupin standing outside of a brick home
    Jon Dupin / PASTOR
    "LASIK is not just a medical advancement to me; it’s a miracle"
  • Josh Brewer / HUMANITARIAN AID
    "Because of Dr. Bowers and his team at Piedmont Eye Center, my everyday life is now a whole lot easier. "
  • Judy Bowman / MISSIONARY
    "My experience of having Laser Vision Correction was fantastic. Dr. Bowers and all his staff are so knowledgeable and professional, yet very personal, warm, caring, and friendly."
  • Lucy standing in a classroom
    Lucy /
    "Dr. Bowers and his team were very comforting. The next morning, I opened my eyes and was able to see the alarm clock across the room, which I was never able to see before. It was a miracle!"
  • Martha Ann / GRANDMOTHER
    "It is a wonderful feeling to have no RX lenses. I want to thank Dr. Bowers and the Surgery Center for the freedom I feel.”
  • Monica Shelton / Featured Patient
    "Everyone told me what they were going to be doing to me and what to expect every step of the way. My experience with Piedmont Eye Center and Dr. Bowers and the whole LASIK team was awesome!"
  • Adelia / RETIRED
    "God led me to Dr. Vogel. He is absolutely the most wonderful doctor in the world. Not only is he a great doctor, he is a great ‘people person’. You always feel safe with him."
  • Penny Abbot in front of a home
    Penny Abbott / Financial Consultant
    "From the great staff who helped me, to the simplicity of setting up my flexible spending account, to my complete satisfaction and enjoyment of having clear sight, this has been an easy process."
    "The staff at Piedmont eased my nerves and the procedure was swift and smooth."
  • Sue Earsing and lasik eye surgery
    "I have always seen the world through glasses or contacts, so the sharpness of vision I have now was never there before."
    “Dr. Bowers not only met my expectations, he surpassed them. I had no idea that vision like this was possible. I no longer struggle in the shadows of a course- everything is clearer.”
  • Troy Doss
    "Piedmont Eye Center takes care of the little things to make LASIK a comfortable process."
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