Dr. Rasheed & Sani Eye Center


Most of us who live and work on the Central Coast have a primary physician, usually a General Practice doctor or an Internal Medicine doctor we see every time we get the sniffles or some weird rash on our arm.  Most of us also see the dentist on a regular basis for fear of losing our teeth.

And, I would imagine, most of us do the responsible thing and get our eyes checked on a regular basis by an eye doctor; whether it be through an Optometrist or through an Ophthalmologist.  These last two are the medical professionals who require some of us to wear glasses or contact lenses if correction is needed in our vision.

Another option exists for those who can afford the fairly reasonable price of Lasik Eye Surgery, a surgical procedure to correct vision done by a licensed Ophthalmologist.  These individuals will be able to avoid glasses or contacts all together; those lucky birds.  It is this last type of doctor I would like to focus on, no pun intended, in this article and in particular, a very special individual who happens to be an Ophthalmologist and to his patients, his office staff, his wife, and his daughter, he is known as Dr. Karim Rasheed of Sani Eye Center.

Dr. Rasheed is the owner of Sani Eye Center, located at 1315 Las Tablas Road in Templeton, California.  You are probably wondering with all of the physicians who are located around the west Templeton area, what makes Dr. Rasheed so special?  This is an interesting question which requires an interesting answer and you will not be disappointed.  Dr. Rasheed personally believes in giving as much back to the community as possible and does just that.

Dr. Rasheed is a prominent Templeton Chamber supporter.  Dr. Rasheed and the Sani Eye Center supported the Templeton Chamber event Day in the Shade in 2007 by donating the wine glasses which were used by many for wine tasting.  The proceeds of the event, and in particular the wine tasting, went to the Templeton Chamber to support many other activities the Chamber sponsors throughout the year.

“Every year Dr. Rasheed and the Sani Eye Center donate two Lasik procedures as auction items for various charity events,” pointed out Diana Reed, the Office Administrator for the Sani Eye Center.  “One Lasik is donated for the Denim and Diamonds event, which supports the Templeton Education Foundation, and the second to San Luis Sports Therapy who puts on the Candy Corn Classic, an event fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis,” she adds.  Each procedure is valued at approximately $6,000 and raise several thousands of dollars for both charity events.

So who is Dr. Rasheed and where did he and his family come from?  Dr. Rasheed moved his family to the Central Coast of California essentially sight unseen, unusual for an eye doctor, from the Los Angeles area in 2003.  He vividly remembers the move with his family that particular day.  He remembers seeing, as they were driving up the coast, “a huge fog bank from the water move across the land.”  Now most of us would think, “Oh Great…Fog” but Dr. Rasheed was “thrilled to see such weather” and knew that he was taking his family in the right direction because, as a result of raising his family in Los Angeles, they never saw the weather patterns nor the natural surroundings like you see on the Central Coast.

“This is a beautiful place, a beautiful area, and a great place to raise a family.”  A comment which I think most of us can relate to.

Upon completing the move to North San Luis Obispo County, Dr. Rasheed joined Dr. Javad Sani, who founded the Sani Eye Center in 1982.  Dr. Rasheed took the place of Dr. Charles Flowers who was a physician already working with Dr. Sani but who moved out of the area to pursue other aspects of life.  In 2006 Dr. Rasheed purchased the Sani Eye practice from Dr. Sani and in 2007, Dr. Rasheed completed the acquisition of the medical building which holds the Sani Eye practice.  Dr. Sani continues to practice with Dr. Rasheed and to provide great medical treatment and examinations to their patient base.  They provide comprehensive eye services from routine eye exams to Lasik and cataract surgery.  The Sani Eye Center is the only LASIK center in the north county and the only VSP approved LASIK center in the wholeof SLO county.

Prior to joining the Sani Eye Center, Dr. Rasheed obtained his Pre-Medical qualification from the University of London. He then received his medical diploma from the University of Karachi in Pakistan followed by an internship in Internal Medicine at Loyola University-Edward Hines Jr. Hospital in Chicago.  Dr. Rasheed started his ophthalmology training in 1991. For the next six years he continued his training in England. In 1993 he was awarded the Master of Science degree by the University of Bristol, UK. In 1995 he was awarded the Membership of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists in the UK.
After returning to the US, he repeated his residency training at the Martin Luther King Hospital in Los Angeles and did a Cornea and Refractive surgery Fellowship at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. In addition to his membership of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists in the UK, he is also a member of the   American Academy of Ophthalmology.  Located on the Sani Eye Center website at www.sanieye.com, a person can literally take a “tour” of Dr. Rasheed’s credentials and accomplishments.

What all of this means is that Dr. Rasheed really knows his stuff.  He knows about eyes, but more than that, he really cares about people and their eye sight.  Dr. Rasheed will treat any patient who walks through his doors.  For those who cannot afford vision care or do not have insurance, Dr. Rasheed does his best to work with his patients to first treat the person and their problem and then worry about the payment for service.  Dr. Rasheed said, “I treat all of my patients the same. Patients with insurance, without insurance, patients with serious medical problems, or others with little to no eye medical problems.  They all mean very much to me as a physician and I need to make sure I do the best I can humanly do for them.”  Dr. Rasheed further explained that, “we, at the Sani Eye Center, are not going to let someone go blind or untreated if they have neither money nor insurance.  There is always a way to treat someone and work out the money situation later.”

Dr. Rasheed works with differing pharmaceutical companies and medical supply companies to obtain free products for his patients who cannot afford medications or procedures but medically need treatment.  He has often done procedures for people who could not afford the up front cost of the procedure but could pay him for his services over a period of time.

Impressed as I was during the chat with Dr. Rasheed in his office, I soon learned that there was even more to admire about this man.  Dr. Rasheed shared with me that given all of the philanthropic things he does, the real issue close to his heart is hunger.  He said, “Hunger is the cause of so many of the worlds problems.  If you think about it, if people do not eat, they go hungry.  If they go hungry, they are malnourished which means they cannot think, they cannot work and they cannot better their family nor can they better society.”

Poverty and hunger are two main issues very close to Dr. Rasheed’s heart and with all of the giving he does for the local community, this issue of hunger remains the most important to him and to his family.  “We, as a family, do the best we can and try and give to all of the great causes which all have needs, but hunger remains the most important to our family and we are dedicated to preventing hunger around the world.”

Out of all of these efforts, do not let Dr. Rasheed fool you, his wife of around 17 years, Dr. Sarwat Rasheed, and their daughter Ayesha Rasheed, a talented Templeton High School student are very dear to Dr. Rasheed’s heart.  The human element shines through Dr. Rasheed when he talks about his family.  “Ayesha is an accomplished pianist and likes to work on musical productions at the school.  She is also involved with the Templeton High School legal team and mock trials which are held. She is a prosecutor for the group and a few days ago her team won the county championship.  And with all of that, she is in Advanced Placement classes at the High School.”  Dr. Rasheed also pointed out that Ayesha is not a person to mess with since, “she is also a black belt in Karate.”

So with all of Dr. Rasheed’s efforts and commitments to his family, his patients, and to the Sani Eye center, Dr. Rasheed does get out for a little adventure from time to time.  Some of his favorite activities are hunting and fishing.  Mostly he hunts for pheasant and quail and his real stress relief comes from a nice fly fishing spot.  “I enjoy fly fishing very much.  With all of the stresses of the world bearing down on my shoulders, I can go fishing in a calm and peaceful, natural environment and know it is all okay and all is well.”

The Templeton Community would be a different place without Dr. Rasheed and the Sani Eye Center. 
Each of us has our place in the world.  Some people take more than they give and others, a rare breed like Dr. Rasheed, give more than they take.  Thank you Dr. Rasheed for all of your efforts and kindness and thank you for making us see a clearer path.

By Maria Eskandanian and Greg Chilina