Natario Couser, M.D., M.S.

Assistant Professor


Natario Couser, MD (cropped)

Education and Training:

Medical School:

Medical College of Virginia / Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
Richmond, VA 


Howard University
Washington, DC 

I strive to use a personal approach to treat every patient and family with the utmost compassion while utilizing the most current high standards of care.


Emory University
Atlanta, GA 

Master of Science in Biotechnology:

Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD 

Practice Philosophy:

Dr. Couser is a board certified Pediatric Ophthalmologist with a unique interest in Ophthalmic Genetics. In addition to being on faculty at UNC Eye, he concurrently is a Medical Genetics Fellow in the UNC Department of Pediatric Genetics and Metabolism.

He received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Virginia and completed his medical education and internship in Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia. He completed his residency at Howard University, serving as co-chief resident in his final year. He received fellowship training in Pediatric Ophthalmology & Adult Strabismus at Emory University and then completed a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. 

Prior to joining the faculty at UNC, Dr. Couser worked for several years as an attending physician in a private practice in Richmond, VA.  While in Richmond, Dr. Couser maintained privileges at several hospitals with responsibilities that included managing the Retinopathy of Prematurity Services and serving on Cleft & Craniofacial teams.

He was chosen to serve as the Medical Director for a pioneer Prevent Blindness America vision screening program, participated as a consultant for several clinical trials, and taught residents from the medical school. He has presented invited lectures and published many articles on a variety of topics, has won numerous awards for research, and serves as a Reviewer for multiple medical journals.

Special Interests:

Dr. Couser’s clinical interests include the medical and surgical management of pediatric and adult strabismus, pediatric cataracts, congenital ptosis, tear duct obstructions, uveitis, amblyopia, and pediatric eye infections and injuries. He also has special research interests in retinopathy of prematurity, visual problems in school aged children, pediatric instrument-based vision screening in the preschool population, and genetic eye diseases including rare inherited disorders affecting the eyes.

Selected Publications:

Natario L. Couser, The W.H.E.E.L.S. Preschool Vision Screening Program’s Initial Outcomes for 12,402 Children Screened Using the Plusoptix Photoscreener, International Scholarly Research Notices, vol. 2014, Article ID 793546, 4 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/793546

Couser NL, Hubbard GB, Lee LB, Hutchinson AK, Lambert SR. Candida species lens abscesses in infants with a history of neonatal Candida sepsis, J AAPOS, 2013 Apr; 17(2):208-10

Medical Management of the Surgical Patient: A Textbook of Perioperative Medicine, Fifth Edition, Cambridge University Press, 2013, Section 23, Chapter 114, Ophthalmic Surgery, Strabismus Surgery Natario L. Couser MD, Amy K. Hutchinson MD, Timothy W. Olsen MD, pp. 706-707

Natario L. Couser MD and Scott R. Lambert MD, The Management of Childhood Cataracts; Looking Back in the Past and Towards the Future, Points de Vue Spring/Primavera 2012 No. 66

Natario L. Couser, Fatema Q. Esmail, Amy K. Hutchinson, Vision Screening in the Pediatrician’s Office, Open Journal of Ophthalmology No.2, 2012 pp.9-13

Couser NL, Lenhart PD, Hutchinson AK, Augmented hummelsheim procedure to treat complete abducens nerve palsy, J AAPOS, 2012 Aug; 16(4):331-5

Natario L. Couser MD and Scott R. Lambert MD, Botulinum Toxin A Treatment of Consecutive Esotropia in Children, Strabismus, 2012, 20(4), 158-161

Natario L. Couser, MD Janine Smith-Marshall, MD, The Washington Metropolitan Pediatric Vision Screening Quality Control Assessment, ISRN Ophthalmology Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 801957

Natario L. Couser, Gitane Patel, Christopher Thiagarajah, Leslie S. Jones, Melissa D. Kern, Case series of premature neonates with congenital glaucoma, JAAPOS, Volume 14, Issue 1, Pages e14  (February 2010)

Li, M, Potocki, J, Couser, N, Urban, NH, Jiranek, WA, Beckman, MJ, Cell Typing of RANKL Expression in Fibroblasts and Characterization of the RANKL/OPG Ratio in Periprosthetic Membrane of Total Joint Revisions, 51st Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Paper No:0173, 2005


To schedule an appointment with Dr. Couser, please call 984-974-2020.