Eric Donnenfeld D’77, MED’80, P’05 
Career Achievement

Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, New York University Medical Center
Surgical Director and Founder, Lions Eye Bank for Long Island




Dr. Eric Donnenfeld exemplifies a broad range of contributions to the field of ophthalmology including scholarship, technological advancements, and, of course, experienced and empathetic patient care.

Invested in the education of new ophthalmologists, Eric is a Board of Overseers emeritus for the Geisel School of Medicine and is a clinical professor of ophthalmology at New York University Medical Center since 2006. He also founded the Lions Eye Bank for Long Island, where he acts as surgical director.

As an internationally recognized expert and pioneer in the field of refractive, cornea, and cataract surgery, Dr. Donnenfeld was among the first five people in the world to perform both laser vision correction and laser cataract surgery. He has authored more than 225 peer-reviewed papers and has published more than 45 book chapters and three books on cornea, external disease, cataract, and refractive surgery.

His contributions to this technology-driven profession include 10 patents; among them is a nomogram for treating astigmatism with arcuate keratotomy at the time of cataract surgery that is used internationally. Dr. Donnenfeld serves on the advisory board of three major manufacturers of LASIK Excimer lasers and acts as a consultant to more than a dozen ophthalmic companies. He has participated in over 60 FDA clinical trials, and he is an accomplished speaker at national and international conferences.

Among a long list of professional leadership roles and honors, Eric is the current president of the International Intra-Ocular Implant Club. His former positions include past president of the Nassau Surgical Society, from which he earned a Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as past president of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS). 
Newsweek named him America’s Best Eye Doctor in 2021 and again in 2022. As a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Dr. Donnenfeld has been recognized with the organization’s Secretariat Award, Honor Award, Senior Honor Award, and Life Achievement Honor Award. The Ophthalmologist named him to their Power List in 2018, 2020, 2021, and 2022, and he was named among Ophthalmology Management’s 25 Leaders in Innovation.

For seven years, until 2022, Eric was chief medical editor of EyeWorld, the official publication of the ASCRS. He was editor-in-chief of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today, which named him Surgeon of the Year in 2005 and one of the Top 50 Most Influential Ophthalmologists in the U.S. Eric has served on the editorial boards of numerous other publications. 

Dr. Donnenfeld graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1977, and he was valedictorian of the Class of 1980 at Dartmouth Medical School. He was chief resident at Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital and completed a Cornea Fellowship at Wills Eye Hospital.


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