Bucs add team eye doctor to medical staff
The Bucs' vision for improved success down the road includes, well, improved vision.
The team has updated its medical staff to include a team ophthalmologist in Robert Weinstock, who works at the Eye Institute of West Florida in Largo and said he took on the new role at the start of last season after handling eye surgeries for the team for about a decade.
"I really wasn't the eye doctor of record, but since I had been taking care of them for so long, they officially made me the official eye doctor for the team," he said by phone this week. "It just made sense for me to take over all the eye care for the team ... glaucoma, retinal detachments from getting hit in the head, but the most common thing is LASIK."
Weinstock said his office will send staff and equipment to One Buc Place each year to conduct eye exams as part of the regular annual physical screenings, and it's not unusual for new players to discover their vision requires some kind of correction. He said he's performed LASIK eye surgery on two to five players each year, with teams advocating for many reasons, including avoiding the potential problem of a contact lens popping out during games.
"Once they get into the NFL and we screen them and determine that they're candidates, there are a few that decide they want to get it," Weinstock said. "The coaching staff and trainers are very pro-active in trying to get players the best possible vision on the field. It's the same in the military, so they don't have the burden of contacts when they're in combat. Same thing goes for football."
The Bucs have a head team physician as well as four orthopedic surgeons listed as part of their medical staff, along with a head athletic trainer and currently two assistants. A third, Adrian Dixon, left this spring to become the Titans' rehab coordinator.