All About Dean McGee Eye Institute
The Dean McGee Eye Institute is dedicated to serving all Oklahomans and the global community through excellence and leadership in patient care, education, and vision research.
The Dean McGee Eye Institute (DMEI) was born from the desire of a small group of Oklahoma City residents to make the best in eye care available to Oklahomans. Led by oil pioneer and philanthropist Dean A. McGee, funds were raised to establish an eye institute, and the Dean McGee Eye Institute opened its doors to patients in 1975.
Critical to DMEI’s success, and unique among major American eye institutes, was the incorporation of DMEI as a separate, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the adoption of an affiliation agreement with the University of Oklahoma (OU) to function as the OU Department of Ophthalmology. Through this arrangement, DMEI provides residency and fellowship training to the next generation of ophthalmologists and undertakes grant-funded vision research.
For more than four decades, DMEI has provided the best in patient care not only to the citizens of Oklahoma but to those in the surrounding region as well, and in places around the world. In addition, DMEI has become a leader in residency education and is recognized as one of the top vision research facilities in the nation.
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DMEI and the DMEI Foundation are both nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organizations, which means donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Each organization is governed by a board of directors made up of community and business leaders committed to advancing DMEI’s mission. Their stewardship has been critical to the Institute’s growth and development.
More than 300 employees and operations at the organization’s multiple locations are overseen by an administrative leadership team comprised of physicians and executive staff who bring years of experience to furthering the Institute’s mission.
Since its dedication on December 4, 1975, the Dean McGee Eye Institute (DMEI) has become one of America’s largest and most respected centers for medical and surgical eye care, providing approximately 200,000 total patient visits per year from all 77 Oklahoma counties and the surrounding region, and performing 8,400 surgeries annually in its femtosecond laser-equipped ambulatory surgery center.
Patient care is provided in all the major ophthalmology subspecialty areas, including:
- Cataract Surgery
- Comprehensive Ophthalmology
- Corneal and External Diseases
- LASIK and Laser Vision Correction
- Low Vision Rehabilitation
- Ocular Oncology
- Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
- Retina and Vitreous
- Uveitis and Ocular Immunology
In U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-2020 survey, DMEI was recognized as one of the nation’s top 20 academic eye centers and eighth among those affiliated with a public university. Its residency program, in affiliation with the University of Oklahoma (OU) College of Medicine, also is ranked among the country’s top 20 by Doximity (eighth among public universities) and attracts top medical students from across the nation.
In the 2019 survey released by Ophthalmology Times, DMEI was ranked among the top 12 programs overall and also for its clinical, residency, and research programs. It was No. 6 among centers affiliated with a public university in the first three categories and No. 7 among public universities in research. Only eight other programs were included among the top 12 in all four categories.
Resident surgical education has consistently ranked above the 90th percentile nationally. Since 2000, the first-time pass rates on the American Board of Ophthalmology’s written and oral examinations are 100% and 97.5% respectively with an average score on the written examination near the 80th percentile.
Last year, the OU College of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology, which is housed in DMEI, ranked among the country’s top 20 departments in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding with approximately $6.4 million in NIH research grants (10th among public universities) and was 16th in the nation in cumulative funding from Research to Prevent Blindness (eighth among public universities).
Twenty-one of the Eye Institute’s 32 ophthalmologists (and all of those recruited before 2014) were listed among the Best Doctors in America and/or Castle Connolly Top Doctors in 2019.
Since 2007, four past or current members of the DMEI/OU faculty have served as president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and DMEI’s second president, Dr. David W. Parke II, now serves as chief executive officer of the Academy. Faculty members have held major leadership positions in numerous other international, national, and state organizations, including the International Society for Eye Research, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, American Board of Ophthalmology, American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, American Glaucoma Society, Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology, Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company, Oklahoma State Medical Association, and Oklahoma Academy of Ophthalmology.
The Dean McGee Eye Institute provides more than $1 million in eye care services to needy Oklahomans each year.
Ultimately, the remarkable achievements of the Dean McGee Eye Institute are the result of the outstanding quality of compassionate care provided by its physicians and staff, the disciplined and creative work of its scientists, and the hundreds of generous donors who have supported its mission. The Institute is proud of its remarkable legacy and the trust placed in it by patients and the citizens of Oklahoma. In keeping with the principles established by its founders, the Dean McGee Eye Institute pledges to continue its unwavering commitment to excellence in patient care, education, and vision research.