Sure… it takes hard work and brains to get into any medical school. But getting into a top-tier medical school is even more difficult. The same goes for residency training programs. The top-ranked Ophthalmology residency programs are extremely difficult to get accepted to. Residency training is a crucial period of learning and developing skills. Doctors know that the quality of education & training at top-ranked programs will prepare them well for their future as practicing surgeons.
While Education & Training alone are not enough on their own to qualify someone as a “Best Surgeon in America”… it is a good foundation & indicator that they have sustained a high level of achievement over a long period of time.
Pictured above: Top Ranked Ophthalmology Residency Programs.
There are two main aspects we look at when considering a surgeon’s experience — Quantity & Quality.
Experience in modern cataract surgery is measured by more than just the ‘number of years in practice’. We reward surgeons for the quality of their training & mentorship and their commitment to providing the best patient outcomes.
While on one hand, more years of practice may seem better… on the other hand, no one wants an older surgeon who isn’t up-to-date. In many cases, a younger surgeon who has recently finished his or her training under expert mentorship, and is up-to-date on the latest techniques & technologies may be preferable to an older surgeon who may have fallen behind.
As you can see, there isn’t a magic “cut-off” point where a surgeon is considered to have enough experience. We review every surgeon individually and consider their experience in the context of all the other criteria listed here. In general, we consider more experience as being preferable. However, experience alone is not sufficient, and we look for other signs that the surgeon is a provider of high-quality modern cataract surgery. On the other hand, when we consider a younger surgeon with a record of excellence since medical school, who was trained by the top surgeons in the country, who is clearly up-to-date, and has access to state-of-the-art technology to deliver high-quality modern cataract surgery outcomes, then we are thrilled to recognize both of these surgeons.
There are two aspects to how we evaluate a surgeon’s reputation:
1.) Peer Recommendations
We value the input of recognized experts in cataract surgery across the country. When we receive a recommendation for a surgeon from a trusted leader in the field, we take it seriously.
2.) Patient feedback
It’s not enough to be beloved by other doctors… it’s perhaps even more important to be beloved by patients. We monitor the online reviews of surgeons. We expect them to have stellar reviews, and less-than-stellar reviews count against them. We also invite patients to send us feedback about their surgeon. We want to know directly from patients about excellent surgeons deserving to be named a “Best Cataract Surgeon”, as well as those who may have underperformed expectations.
Technology & Equipment
“A carpenter is only as good as his tools.”
Modern cataract surgery relies on a multitude of expensive, state-of-the-art technologies. Surgeons who aren’t truly specialized in cataract surgery often simply can’t afford the financial investment required to stay up-to-date. Various crude forms of cataract surgery have been performed for hundreds of years… and trust us… you don’t want those.
Being up-to-date with state-of-the-art equipment, such as modern lens implants, microscopes, and diagnostic equipment, is an indicator that your surgeon is a true specialist in cataract surgery, and has the tools to deliver to you the gift of great vision. A surgeon that does not offer state-of-the-art technology can simply not achieve the same outcomes as an expert surgeon who does.
Quality Of Overall Practice
“You’re only as strong as your weakest link.”
While the individual surgeon is important, there are many other people involved in the delivery of your eye care who are critical to the success of your surgery.
From the front desk staff to the technicians, counselors, and surgery center staff… and the list goes on… Many expert cataract surgeons also practice closely with optometrists who often provide much of the routine post-operative care. Your surgeon may also have partners in their practice with who they share on-call & emergency responsibilities. It takes a dedicated, high-performance team to deliver high quality modern cataract surgery outcomes.
Your experience as a patient, and the success of your surgery, depends on all of these people. Surgeons who are considered the “Best in America” are expected to be leaders and take responsibility for all of the members of their organization. It takes an exceptional team to provide exceptional surgical care. In our assessment of surgeons, we expect their entire team to be outstanding.
Feedback From You!
Our organization & this website are designed to advocate for patients to get the highest quality in their cataract surgery… so naturally, we take your feedback seriously. If you’ve had a good or bad experience with a surgeon… tell us about it.