Women in Business: Focus on Dr. Nancy Tanchel, Liberty Laser Center


October is Women in Business month – a nod to female entrepreneurs. Despite ongoing challenges, there are currently more women in medicine than at any point in history. Unfortunately female eye surgeons are still fairly rare.

There are an estimated 18, 305 active ophthalmologists in the U.S., according to “Physician Characteristics and Distribution in the U.S., 2011 edition. American Medical Association.” Female eye surgeons among them are very few. Dr.Nancy A. Tanchel, M.D., the medical director of Liberty Laser Eye Center, is one of a select few refractive LASIK surgeons in the country and she is one of the only few women in the field.

Dr. Tanchel was the first woman in the world to have the femtosecond laser in her Tysons Corner, VA, eye center, and continues to lead by pioneering new technologies and training fellow surgeons.

Earlier this year, Liberty Laser Eye Center installed the brand-new topography guided Excimer laser system and became one of the first to use it in the U.S. Dr. Tanchel is also one of only four physicians in the United States who teaches other doctors how to use this new technology.

Dr. Tanchel has been dedicated to refractive eye surgery for many years and has performed more than 15,000 LASIK, All-Laser LASIK and PRK procedures –more than any other woman in America.

“I have the best job in the world. I get to help people enjoy their lives more on a daily basis. Right after LASIK eye surgery I see smiles, then real joy the next day when my patients come in for their first post-op visit, seeing great. How wonderful is that?”

However, besides being a talented surgeon, she is also a female entrepreneur. In addition to running Liberty Laser Eye Center she is active in the Virginia business community and a member of the NAWBO Greater DC Chapter. She also made a successful pitch on the TV show “Shark Tank” where she introduced Hells Bells, a company that produces unique three dimensional biker helmets. These helmets come in many designs, they are safer and they are stronger.

In 2007, she won the Make Mine a Million $ Business Awards, an award aiming to enable women entrepreneurs to crow their business into a significant enterprise, winning a cash prize, marketing, mentoring, and technology assistance to help their businesses grow into million-dollar enterprises.

So during Women in Business month, we hope that many more young women follow Dr. Tanchel into the field of medicine. More women in the United States are practicing medicine than ever before and they are entering medical school in record numbers.  However, women remain underrepresented at the higher levels of academic medicine and in executive positions. These trends should most certainly change as more female physicians make their mark on the profession.

Happy Women in Business month, everyone!

Liberty Laser Eye Center
8321 Old Courthouse Road
Vienna, VA 22182

(571) 234-5678

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