Meet Dr. Krupa Patel, Pediatric Ophthalmologist with UAB Callahan Eye Hospital & Clinics


As far back as she can remember, Krupa Patel, MD, knew that she wanted to practice medicine and work with children. “I knew from a young age that I wanted to be just like my pediatrician, but in medical school I also found myself drawn to the intensity and results of surgery in the operating room,” says Dr. Patel, a pediatric ophthalmology surgeon who joined UAB Callahan Eye Hospital & Clinics on October 1.

“I love working with my hands, and during my schooling, I rotated through ophthalmology as part of my surgery rotation, and I just fell in love with it,” she adds. “I like that you can see what’s going on in the rest of the body by looking through the eyes. I love kids, and I realized that I could still work with kids doing pediatric ophthalmology. The innocence and smile of a child easily brighten my day. You know you’re in the right field when work doesn’t feel like work.”

Dr. Patel was born at The Ohio State University Wexner Hospital, where the passion for Ohio State Buckeyes football runs deep. “ I was born with a Buckeyes blanket,” she laughs. She remained in Ohio for most of her schooling, earning her undergraduate degree in biology from Youngstown State University and completing medical school at Northeast Ohio Medical University in 2014. She continued her training with an ophthalmology residency in Akron, Ohio, at Summa Health System, where she was named Resident of the Year three years in a row. She completed a pediatric ophthalmology fellowship at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis earlier this year.

In her surgical practice, Dr. Patel treats many types of ophthalmological conditions, including strabismus (crossed eyes), blocked tear ducts, cataracts, glaucoma, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), and various eyelid issues. Her pediatric patients are a mix of referrals from optometrists, pediatricians, and emergency rooms, but she also sees children who are brought in by vigilant parents who noticed a problem with their child’s eyes.

Dr. Patel with her parents and brother

Dr. Patel sees patients at the UAB Callahan Eye Hospital Clinic locations on Cahaba River Road in Altadena, in Gardendale, and at a new location opening soon at Stadium Trace Village in Hoover. She also has clinic days at Children’s of Alabama hospital’s Children’s South Pediatric Outpatient Center near the intersection of I-459 and Acton Road. She will share her expertise with UAB ophthalmology residents through lecturing and teaching, initially at the Lions Eye Clinic within Callahan Eye Hospital.

“I have been blessed to have many mentors throughout my training, and I hope to pass forward what I have learned to other aspiring physicians,” she says. “Teaching is my passion, which led me to academic medicine. UAB Callahan Eye Hospital is a strong academic and clinical institution that I am proud to be a part of.”

Life Outside the Office

Dr. Patel is getting married in May 2020 to fiancé Ruchit Shah, MD, a cardiac electrophysiologist at UAB Medicine. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, dancing, exploring nature, spending time with family and friends, and community service. She speaks Gujarati in addition to English, and she understands Spanish and Hindi.

She also enjoys traveling. Recent excursions have taken her to Costa Rica, India, Greece, and destinations in California, Texas, and other U.S. states. As much as she loves new places, she admits that she’s still learning to navigate the roads and customs of the South.

“I’m still using my GPS all the time because I don’t know where I’m going yet,” Dr. Patel says. “Everything about Birmingham is so new to me, but everyone’s been really kind, and not just at UAB. I went to the grocery store yesterday, and I had an experience I’ve never had – the guy walked my groceries out for me! I’ve never seen that before.”

Dr. Patel with her fiancé, Ruchit Shah, MD, during a recent trip to Greece
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Patel, please call or text 1-844-UAB-EYES. No referral is needed, and same-day appointments are available.