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Our Criteria To Evaluate LASIK Surgeons

Let’s discuss what it takes for a LASIK surgeon to be named one of the Best LASIK Surgeons in America. In this section we’ll review the criteria we use to evaluate surgeons for this prestigious title.


You need to have access to your surgeon after your procedure in case you need them.


(This probably sounds like common sense.)

Believe it or not… there are ‘fly-in surgeons‘ who travel to from city-to-city once or twice a month to do surgery, and delegate all of the post-operative care to others… and are typically not around if you need them.

‘Accessibility‘ the first thing we look for in determining Eligibility as one of the Best LASIK Surgeons in America… because even if your surgeon went to the best medical school & residency, and has 30 years of experience,  and has all of the latest technology… if he’s not available to you when you need him because he’s a travelling surgeon who is out-of-town for a while… what good is he to you?

Moreover… ask any LASIK surgeon who is recognized as a true expert in delivering quality, safe, life-changing vision results to their patients, and they’re likely to tell you that it’s these few bad apples who put the reputation of LASIK at risk by cutting corners & not being available for their patients

These ‘fly-in’ or ‘itinerant’ surgeons are most commonly found as employees at corporate discount LASIK chainsBeware.

Any surgeon found to be practicing as an “itinerant surgeon” or “fly-in surgeon“, and not sufficiently available in-person for their patients who need them, is considered strictly ineligible to be one of the “Best LASIK Surgeons in America“.


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 in to. Applicants know how important the quality of their residency training is. Residency training is a crucial period of learning and developing skills. The top programs are fiercely competed over, since applicants know that the quality of education & training at top ranked programs will prepare them well for the future as practicing surgeons.

While Education & Training alone are not nearly enough to qualify someone as a “Best Surgeon in America”… it is a good foundation & indicator that they have sustained a high level achievement over a long period of time.

Pictured above: Top Ranked Ophthalmology Residency Programs.


There are two main aspects we consider when viewing a surgeon’s Experience — Quantity & Quality:

1.) Surgeons are required to have at least 5 years of experience in clinical practice after the completion of their residency training to be Eligible.

Why do we set the cut-off at 5 years? Since it takes 4 years of practice after medical school to complete an ophthalmology residency program, and we require at least 5 additional years of unsupervised practice after the completion of residency, this means that physicians on our list must be in their 10th year of practice after medical school.

In our opinion, this is an appropriate threshold of experience after which an otherwise exceptional individual who specializes his or her practice on laser vision correction can achieve a level of expertise to be Eligible for consideration.

2.) In addition to the “Quantity” of the surgeon’s experience, we consider the “Quality” of the surgeon’s experience as even more important.

All great surgeons learn from great mentors, and spending years in practice with a highly-respected senior mentor speaks volumes about the surgeon under consideration. Being able to discuss techniques, challenging patients, and advances in research & technology with expert colleagues on a daily basis in a group practice setting makes doctors better. A surgeon who trained at a top-ranked academic institution, and spends several years in practice working in the setting of well-regarded senior mentors will have the “Quality” of their experience ranked high.

Technology & Equipment

“A carpenter is only as good as his tools.”

Modern LASIK relies on a multitude of expensive, state-of-the-art technologies. Surgeons who aren’t truly specialized in LASIK often simply can’t afford the financial investment required to stay up-to-date.

No practice would spend millions of dollars on new equipment if it wasn’t significantly better than older technology. Would you ever consider using a cell phone from 20 years ago? Similarly, LASIK technology has advanced tremendously over the past 20 years.

Being up-to-date with state-of-the-art equipment, such as modern lasers and diagnostic equipment, is an indicator that your surgeon is a true specialist in LASIK, and has the best tools available to maximize the likelihood of giving 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.


There are two aspects to how we evaluate a surgeon’s reputation:

1.) Peer Recommendations

The world of ophthalmology is small… and the world of LASIK & laser vision correction is even smaller. Exceptional surgeons are leaders in the community of surgeons. They speak and share their wisdom with the rest of the community. In this sense, leaders and exceptional doctors become well-known among other doctors. These surgeons become the “doctor’s doctor”… and are the ones who less experienced surgeons seek advice from. We seek recommendations from leaders in the field of refractive surgery… and when we get recommendations from these leaders… we take them seriously.

2.) Online Reviews

It’s not enough to be beloved by other doctors… it’s 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.

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 team members answering phone calls, technicians, counselors, and surgery center staff… and the list goes on. Beyond those staff members, there are often other doctors in the practice. Many expert surgeons practice closely with optometrists who often provide much of the routine post-operative care. They may also have partner surgeons in their practice who they share on-call & emergency responsibilities with.

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. And the surgeon is the leader of his or her team. In our assessment of surgeons, we look for surgeons to be leaders, and for their entire organization to exemplify excellence from top-to-bottom.

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