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Avatar universal

How do you find the 'best' retinal specialist?

I very much appreciate the responses I received to my previous post about my macular pucker.  However, this feedback raises the question of how to find the "best of the best" retinal specialist, especially when referrals from one's physician(s) are unsatisfactory.  (There should be adult education classes on this topic.)  How reliable are the lists of "best" doctors by Castle Connolly and Consumer Guide?  Is a doctor's membership in professional groups (e.g., the Vitreous Society) important?  If I saw a specialist at a teaching hospital, would residents participate in my treatment?  (I live in large midwestern city and have good health insurance, but I'm an "outsider" to the medical community here.)  All feedback will be welcome!
48 Responses
Avatar universal
Finding a good doctor who knows what they are doing can be difficult.  Referrals from other doctors are sometimes unreliable.  I have no idea if a consumer guide would work or not.  Membership in professional groups doesnt necessarily help, although it certainly doesnt hurt.  If you were at a teaching hospital, it is very likely that residents & students would participate.  

I guess my answer might not be what you're looking for...IMO there is no single GREAT way to find out who is the best.  Your best bet IMO is to find other people who have had retinal surgeries and ask them if they thought their doctor did a good job.
Avatar universal
I have to tell you, unless your in the business, you won't really know. Asking other people about their surgical experience can be risky also because how do you know that they have the same condition.  The bottom line is to know the people who are referring you.  On a previous post, I gave a recommendation to a lady who wanted to have orbital reconstructive surgery.  I asked a personal oculoplastic doctor that I have been in surgery with, who he would suggest in her area.  First off, where do you live?

Second you need to be asking other ophthalmologists who they would go to themselves.  I would ask at least 3 different doctors, and if a certain doctor keeps being mentioned, then that's a good place to start.  Your internal medicine MD, or GP will only be an O.K. start, not the BEST.  The magazines are mostly political, and some are even paid to be in there.  You will get some of the best in there, but only by chance. I really think you might me better off leaving your eye alone for know, but doing the research for a retinal specialist is a good idea.  Let me know where in the midwest you are, and I can ask some eye doctors I sell to give you a starting point.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your response! I'm in Chicago.
Avatar universal
I used to work for Dr David J Tresley (Retina Sp.). He works at Chicago Eye Institute 3982 N Milwaukee (773) 282-2000 and at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital (773) 296-8000 (ask forEye Clinic)  sometimes gets a little technical, but knows what he is talking about. also:

Lee M. Jampol, M.D. Louis Feinberg Professor and Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University, 645 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Illinois 60611

David Orth, M.D.
Illinois Retina Associates, S.C.
Irwin Retina Center
71 West 156th Street, Suite 400
Harvey, IL 60426
USA
Telephone: (708) 915-6927

I also know the best retinal photographer in the city who works with Dr Tresley. If it is receommended that you get a Fluorescein Angiography test, Martin Chrobak is the one you want to take the photos. This tests the blood flow through your eye.

This is frustrating to go to different doctors, but better than doing surgery without knowing really what your odds are of problems.  It's well worth it. You will be dilated at each office because no doctor takes anyone elses opinion w/o seeing things for themselves. Please keep me updated and feel free to contact me with further questions.
Avatar universal
Hi Eye Guy, any suggestions for California (San Franncisco/Bay Area)?
Avatar universal
I see what I can find out from someone I know in your area.
Stay tuned.
Avatar universal
Sorry to overwork you, but any suggestions for Houston, TX?
Avatar universal
hi there,  I sent in comments earlier..I was diagnosed with central serous retinopathy by an east bay retinologist that I WAS NOT happy with.  this doctor was cold, uninterested, uncommunicative.  when I asked questions, he was absolutely silent - i now realize that he was gritting his teeth with impatience.  I asked him about the possible connection between my coming down with shingles on the same day as my eye problem started, and also asked why i was having considerable eye pain - he waved off both as irrelevant - i got the impression that he was not interested about any symptoms that did not fit his diagnosis. I don't know if i should mention his name, he is part of a major retinal specialist group in the east bay.  I would love to find another doctor in the SF bay area - Help!   thanks,  winterfree
Avatar universal
Hi Wendy, from my research, this office has good reputation in Bay Area:

California Vitroretinal Center
1225 Crane St, Menlo Park
ph: 650 323 0231

Good luck.
Avatar universal
Hi Wendy, from my research, this office has good reputation in Bay Area:

California Vitroretinal Center
1225 Crane St, Menlo Park
ph: 650 323 0231

Good luck.
Avatar universal
Ihave wet macular degeneration and am looking for a good
retina specialist.  I live in maryland, so I will go as
far as I have to but hopefully I can find a excellent
specialist in Maryland, PA, Washington, or any surrounding
state near Maryland.  Any recommendations I would be
interested in persuing. I would appreciate any information
or help!  Thanks see-king infro
Avatar universal
Found this list ranking top eye departments in US News magazine:

1. Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami 76.8
2 Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore 74.4
3 Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia 63.1
4 Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston 41.3
5 Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles 34.7
6 University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City 21.9
7 Doheny Eye Institute, USC University Hospital, Los Angeles 17.6
8 Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C. 14.3
9 New York-Presbyterian Univ. Hosp. of Columbia and Cornell 7.7
10 University of California, San Francisco Medical Center 7.6
11 Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis 7.2
12 New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, New York 7.1
13 Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. 6.5
14 Cullen Eye Institute, Methodist Hospital,
15 Cleveland Clinic 5.715 Cleveland Clinic 5.7
16 University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 5.6
17 Emory University Hospital, Atlanta 3.4
18 Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, New York

Not sure if any close to yours...

HTH
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