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Doctor Profile: Helping Kids Perfect Their Vision

Children's Health
Author name: Lee Health


Pediatric Eye Care Graphic

The Republic of Panama, with its unique lifestyle offerings—highland mountains, metropolitan cities, and resort beaches—entices many Americans to retire to this country on the isthmus that links Central and South America.

But Dr. Carla Osigian Probst, who’s nowhere near retirement age, charted a reverse course. She came to the United States in 2015 to continue her flourishing medical education and career as a pediatric ophthalmology specialist.

In May, after four years of practicing in Collier County, Dr. Osigian Probst brought her expertise in the medical and surgical treatment of pediatric eye disorders to the SWFL Children’s Charities Eye Institute of Golisano Children’s Hospital, Lee Health’s new eye institute.

But it was in Panama, of course, where Dr. Osigian Probst’s interest in pediatric ophthalmology started nearly 15 years ago. She comes from what she describes as a “medical world,” meaning that her father is an ophthalmologist and her mother a dentist.

“I knew in high school that I wanted to pursue a career related to the biological sciences,” Dr. Osigian Probst says. As a teenager, she recalls watching at home with her father videos of medical procedures.

(Childhood eye exams are important. Here’s why)

“That spurred my interest in medicine, for sure. Later on, as a medical student, I would visit his office to watch my father interact with his patients and perform eye surgeries, which I thought were so elegant,” she says with a gentle laugh. The experience made a lasting impression on the young student.

“I learned that the eyes may be windows to the soul, but they also reveal so much about our health,” Dr. Osigian Probst says. “Examining the eyelids and parts of the eye can show signs of a systemic disease such as diabetes, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, which really fascinated me.”

In 2010, Dr. Osigian Probst earned her medical degree at the University of Panama School of Medicine. She then completed two years of transnational internships and three years of Ophthalmology residency at Santo Tomas Hospital, University of Panama.

In 2015, she left Panama and moved to Miami to complete two years of advanced medical training in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, one of the nation’s leading eye institutes.

As a pediatric ophthalmologist specializing in the medical and surgical treatment of pediatric eye disorders, Dr. Osigian Probst treats adults with eye muscle problems as well. But her heart belongs to treating the “windows to the soul” of children, she admits.

“I’ve always enjoyed working with kids,” she says. “Because I’ve treated some patients since they were babies, they’ve become like family. I’ve watched them grow while helping their vision to develop properly. I get to know them and their family. It’s really special.”

A Fort Myers resident, Dr. Osigian Probst enjoys spending time with her five-month-old daughter, her dogs, and our local beaches.

SWFL Children’s Charities Eye Institute of Golisano Children’s Hospital

The largest pediatric ophthalmology office between Tampa and Miami, the SWFL Children’s Charities Eye Institute of Golisano Children’s Hospital, opened this month.

The space is dedicated to treatment and exams for visual disorders in children. Dr. Osigian Probst and fellow pediatric ophthalmologist Dr. Jessica Kovarick will treat conditions such as:

  • Eye muscle disorders
  • Amblyopia (“lazy eye”)
  • Retinopathy of prematurity (often called ROP)
  • Ptosis (drooping eyelid)
  • Nasolacrimal duct (tear duct) obstructions
  • Strabismus (abnormal alignment of the eyes)

Learn more here!

Pediatric Ophthalmology
11390 Summerlin Square Drive
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

To schedule an appointment or consultation, call 239-343-8880.

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