|Stephen A.D. Schuster, M.D.
I have written this brief biography so that you may know me better, my philosophy, ethics, my family background and commitment to El Paso and the southwestern region of Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico.
I am proud to say that this commitment has been on going for MORE THAN 100 YEARS!
I was born in El Paso, Texas in 1938.I attended pre-school and grade school in the El Paso Independent School District.
My high school education was initiated at El Paso High School.I later completed three years of high school at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico.There I graduated in the top ten percent of my class in 1956.Military school was the vehicle by which I learned the discipline and teamwork, as well as the physical and mental toughness necessary to climb higher educational ladders.
I attended college at the University of Texas at El Paso, Baylor University in Waco, Texas, the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona and the University of Texas in Austin, Texas.I graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1961 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology and a minor in chemistry.
Prior to entering medical school in 1962, I initiated studies in preparation toward a master’s degree in microbiological sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson and the University of Texas in Austin.However, when the opportunity to attend medical school arose, I preferred this activity to a purely research oriented career.
Thus, with graduate and some postgraduate education behind me I began medical school at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.I was honored by being allowed to complete medical school in three, rather than four, years.The alternate, or three year, program for medical students at that time required excellent grades in order to allow participation.Despite completing medical school in three years, I passed the Texas Board of Medical Examiners testing for licensure in 1965 with honors.My name remains permanently on the Texas Board of Medical Examiners honor roll.
I completed a rotating internship following medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, from 1965 through 1966.My medical and surgical eye training was completed after internship from 1966 until 1969 as a resident in ophthalmology at the same institution with special training at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.From 1968 through 1969 I served as Chief Resident in Ophthalmology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.
From 1969 to 1971 (during the Viet Nam War) I was a Major in the U.S.Army Medical Corp.I served as Chief of Ophthalmology at Lyster Army Hospital, which is associated with Fort Rucker, Alabama.I became a flight surgeon as well as an ophthalmologist.I taught ophthalmology to all medical doctors interested in becoming Army flight surgeons during my tour of duty.Many of my students later entered residency programs after discharge and became well known ophthalmologists in their own right.I also wrote programs for the Army delineating ophthalmological studies necessary for flight surgeons to adequately function in their positions.Indeed, at one point, one other ophthalmologist and I were the only specialists in the United States Army carrying a military occupational specialty (MOS) of both Army flight surgeon and ophthalmologist.
I was board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology in 1971 after completing rigid oral and written testing.In that year I was accepted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
I am a published author who has had articles included in the Archives of Ophthalmology and the Southern Medical Journal.“Unusual Presentations of Retinoblastomas (tumors) of the Eye” was presented before the Texas Ophthalmological Association and the Southern Medical Association meetings in 1969 and 1970.My most recent publication was in April 1999.“Refractive Surgery:Past, Present, and Future” appeared in the El Paso Physician magazine in that month.
I initiated private practice in El Paso, Texas in late 1971.Since that time I have tried to remain in the forefront of ophthalmological advances in our community.I was one of the first individuals to implant intraocular lenses during cataract surgery.I have also performed multiple corneal transplants over the years, well preparing myself for the newer frontiers of corneal refractive surgery.Indeed, I began my refractive surgery career in 1982.In that year I performed one of the first radial keratotomy procedures in the Southwest.Since that time, I have performed over three thousand radial and astigmatic keratotomy procedures.
More recently, with approval of the excimer laser by the Food and Drug Administration, I have eagerly embraced this new means of reducing patient's need for glasses and contact lenses.I now perform from 25 to 50 Refractive Laser procedures per month.
I am heavily involved in organized medicine.I am a member of the El Paso County Medical Society, the Texas Medical Association, the Texas Ophthalmological Association, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the International Keratorefractive Society as well as many other medical ophthalmological organizations.
I am a founding board member of Sierra Medical Center.I served on the board of directors for ten years, from 1973 until 1983.This period of time was the early organizational and growing years of the institution.I was involved in all aspects of the hospital from choosing its name, planning the building, securing its medical staff and organizing its Department of Ophthalmology.I served as President of the Medical Staff of Sierra Medical Center in 1980 and have taken great pride in watching this wonderful facility grow and mature.
I believe that in order to deliver quality eye care one needs to be associated with an excellent team of individuals.Indeed, most of the employees in my practice have worked together for longer than ten years.My wife, the former Elodia Briano, serves many positions in the office and has been involved since our marriage.She is now our office manager.I have always believed that family, wrapped in spiritual values through the help of God, has enabled me to be successful in my medical and surgical endeavors.
Work ethics and values were established early in my life.I began working at the age of ten.My first job was delivering flowers for a local nursery over the summer.The following year I did manual labor, despite my youth, working with a carpenter installing screens, windows and fences.The following year I worked for a local automobile glass company as a cleanup boy and aided in installation of glass windshields through the summer.By the age of fifteen, I was working as a “cash boy” at the Popular Dry Good Company. All this was encouraged by my father, Dr. Stephen Schuster, Sr., who was also an ophthalmologist.
During my late high school and college years I also worked.I was employed at Providence Memorial Hospital from 1956 intermittently until 1960.During that period I also worked odd jobs involving physical labor for various building contractors.Next came employment as a chemist for the El Paso Water and Sewer Utilities under the Public Service Board and as a teaching assistant in microbiology at UTEP.
My father, Dr. Stephen Schuster Sr., served El Paso, providing eye care form 1918 until his death in 1972.My grandfather, Dr. Micheal Phillip Schuster, was also a practicing physician in El Paso, who, late in his career through extended study in Europe, became the first to specialize in eye, ear, nose and throat care in the Southwest.He practiced from 1896 until his premature death in 1918 in El Paso.
Indeed, a Schuster has been practicing medicine and
ophthalmology in El Paso for more than 100 years!
My grandfather, Dr. Micheal Phillip Schuster, was one of the original founders of Providence Hospital.Schuster Street is named in his honor as is the Schuster Tower of the present Providence Memorial Hospital.Providence Hospital was run by the Schuster family from its humble beginnings in 1902 until 1946. At that time, after World War II when Hill-Burton funds became available, the old Providence Hospital was converted to Providence Memorial Hospital, which became a community-owned facility until recently.
After my grandfather died in 1918, his widow ran the old Providence Hospital, as its administrator, until its sale in 1946.She was well respected in her own right being named to the El Paso Historical Society’s Hall of Honor.She also founded the Pan American Round Table of El Paso.This organization still functions today uniting the women of El Paso and Juarez.For this she received an accommodation from President Franklin Roosevelt in 1944.The El Paso Times chose her mother of the year in 1939.I am extremely proud of my family legacy and will always strive to match their caring and love of the community.
I have always felt that physical fitness is important in maintaining the mental toughness necessary to succeed in any career.In this vein, I initiated a regimen of jogging in 1970 (before running shoes were even used).I have run fifteen to twenty-five miles a week routinely since that time.
During my high school years at New Mexico Military Institute, I participated in boxing and baseball.More recently, boxing as a form of aerobic activity has again been instituted.Cross-training in the form of cycling and a strength-training program have also been part of my physical regimen for many years.
Physical activity among our employees is also very important.Planned aerobics under an instructor have been carried out for all staff members in the past.Today, most engage in their own physical activities on an unscheduled basis.
Continuing education for both the staff and myself are carried out at least twice yearly.All members of our medical staff are specialists in their areas from ophthalmic assisting to certified coding specialists.Persistent upgrading of each individual’s skills, along with cross-training in all areas of the office, has been our practice and philosophy for many years.
I sincerely hope this information will be helpful to you as an introduction to the practice of medicine and ophthalmology through my eyes.
I appreciate your consideration of the practice and look forward to serving you!
1. UTEP - University of Texas at El Paso
2. Baylor University - Waco, Texas
B. Post Graduate
1. University of Arizona - Tucson, Arizona
2. University of Texas at Austin - Austin, Texas
1. University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine - Philadelphia, PA
2. University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston, Texas
El Paso County Medical Society
Texas Medical Association
Texas Ophthalmological Association
American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
American Academy of Ophthalmology
International Keratorefractive Society
Founding board member of Sierra Medical Center