Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.

by Ela Schwartz

“I wanted to give back, to do something with purpose.” —Duncan Winter, M.B.A. ’78, M.D.

Duncan Winter, M.B.A. ’78, M.D., defies categorization. While his official profession is board certified ophthalmologist and eye surgeon, Dr. Winter is also a businessman, investor, artist, pilot and humanitarian.

This renaissance man began his journey when he left his native Garden City to pursue liberal arts at Washington and Lee University, where he painted, sculpted and directed films. “I wondered why some people pursue creativity and others simply take a job,” he said, “and I came to the conclusion that you can find creativity in any profession.”

From the arts, Dr. Winter switched gears to trade on Wall Street while taking business courses at Adelphi in the evenings. Despite his success in the financial world, “I wanted to give back, to do something with purpose,” Dr. Winter said. “I realized I loved working with my hands and was always interested in medicine.” So it was back to school once again, this time to Columbia University.

After attaining a medical degree, this former artist chose to help others keep their vision—literally—by specializing in ophthalmology. Today Dr. Winter runs his practice, Surgical Eye Care, which consists of a main office in Saranac Lake, New York, and five satellite locations he travels to via his private plane. In addition, Dr. Winter has patented several inventions for cataract and glaucoma surgery and he continues to paint. He also founded the nonprofit organization Flying Vision Mission, in which he travels to developing nations to provide eye care and perform surgeries.

He credits Adelphi with giving him the confidence and business know-how required to run a busy medical practice. “Many medical school graduates have no background in business,” he said. “They’re daunted by what it takes to run their own practice and instead, often end up joining someone else’s.”

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