Dr. Michael L. Stanko, born in South Dakota, spent most of his childhood in White Pine County Nevada. He graduated from White Pine County High School, (Ely, NV) in 1973. He graduated from the University of Nevada Reno in 1978 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. From 1978 to 1982 he served in the United States Army with the 101st Airborne Air Assault Division stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He received an Honorable Discharge in 1982 at the rank of Captain.
From 1982 to 1984 he worked as a chemical engineer at Hercules Aerospace in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Dr. Stanko returned from Utah to attend the University Of Nevada School Of Medicine from 1984 to 1988, graduating 4th in his class and elected into Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society for his academic excellence. Following an internal medicine internship at Reno Veterans Administration Hospital and Washoe Medical Center, Dr. Stanko attended the University of Arizona for his Ophthalmology Residency. He then completed a one year glaucoma fellowship at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, California in 1993.