Dean McGee Eye Institute Ranked Among Nation’s Top Ophthalmology Programs

Dean McGee Eye Institute ranked among nation’s top ophthalmology programs

By Melissa Howell Staff Writer mhowell@oklahoman.com
Published: April 22, 2018 5:00 AM CDT
Updated: April 22, 2018 5:00 AM CDT

The ophthalmology program at Dean McGee Eye Institute at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center was ranked in the nation's top five for visual problems, clinical care, teaching and research last fall by professional publication Ophthalmology Times. It is the first time the institute has been included in the ranking since it began in 1997.

The rankings are based on surveys with leaders of ophthalmology programs across the country. Only the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami and the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University ranked higher.

DMEI ranked No. 3 overall and No. 2 in the Best Clinical Care and Best Residency Program categories. It ranked No. 5 in Best Research Program.

Also included in the overall ranking were the University of Iowa at fourth; Duke University Eye Center at fifth; Wills Eye Hospital ꟷ Thomas Jefferson University at sixth; Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary ꟷ Harvard University at seventh; W.K. Kellogg Eye Center ꟷ University of Michigan at eighth; Moran Eye Center ꟷ University of Utah at ninth; Stein & Doheny Eye Institute ꟷ University of California Los Angeles at 10th; Casey Eye Institute/University of Oregon at 11th, and the Cole Eye Institute ꟷ Cleveland Clinic at 12th.

“This ranking points to our growing national reputation for exceptional clinical care, outstanding educational opportunities, and leading-edge research. In large measure, this national recognition is a testament to the visionary leaders in the field of ophthalmology at the Dean McGee Eye Institute over the past four-plus decades. Most important, the national ranking speaks to the incredible work of our dedicated faculty, staff, and researchers,” said Dr. Gregory Skuta, president and CEO of the Dean McGee Eye Institute, Edward L. Gaylord Professor and Chair, and Regents' Professor of the OU College of Medicine's Department of Ophthalmology.

Further illustrating the quality of Dean McGee ophthalmologists, Skuta said 100 percent recruited before 2013 have been listed among the Best Doctors in America, Castle Connolly Top Doctors or both.

“Our ambition has always been to assemble the finest physicians, create an environment to explore new boundaries of discovery, attract and teach aspiring students, residents, and fellows, and deliver excellent eye care to the people of Oklahoma and beyond,” Skuta said.

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In an interview with Ophthalmology Times, Skuta explained how work of Dr. R. Michael Siatkowski, vice chair and residency program director, has enhanced the DMEI educational experience and academic productivity. As DMEI's director of vision research, Dr. Robert Anderson has assembled a team of scientists that has transformed vision research in the institute and across the medical campus with far-reaching impact, Skuta said.

Skuta also noted that four past or current members of the faculty have served as president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology from 2007 to 2017, including Skuta in 2014 and Dr. Cynthia A. Bradford in 2017.

“We have a national gem in DMEI in Oklahoma as underscored by this recent national recognition,” said David Rainbolt, Dean McGee Eye Institute board of trustees chair. “Our physicians and researchers are tackling complex eye diseases while at the same time providing routine and specialty eye care to Oklahomans across the state, as well as throughout this region of the country. We congratulate Dr. Skuta and the excellent faculty, staff, and researchers at DMEI for this national honor in recognition of their tremendous efforts.”

In 2011, the Dean McGee Eye Institute, at 608 Stanton L. Young Blvd., opened an expanded clinical and research center in Oklahoma City. The 148,000-square-foot center unified the clinical specialties and research disciplines in one facility. In recent years the institute expanded its international eye-care program with a focus on China and Africa. The research program is a leader in funding from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health and from Research to Prevent Blindness.

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