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Authors > Jay S. Duker, MD

Ophthalmology provides clinicians with information about new studies: what they show, what they mean, and how can they be applied in practice.” – Jay S. Duker, MD

Dr. Duker’s Path to Ophthalmology

I was always interested in science as a child. I thought I was going to be a physicist until I realized that physics was all about numbers and math and I was more interested in people. In college I became interested in becoming a doctor. I did laboratory research with John Dowling who was studying the retina in animals, which got me excited about the visual systems and visual pathways. Then, I happened to go to medical school in Philadelphia at Jefferson Medical College, which is affiliated with the Wills Eye Hospital — one of the top programs for ophthalmology in the world. I was lucky that my interests could flourish with my affiliation with Wills.

About Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology has been a team effort from the start. I feel lucky to work with Dr. Myron Yanoff. When I became interested in ophthalmology as a medical student, I took a rotation at Wills in ocular pathology. I was so interested in the topic that the first textbook in ophthalmology I bought was Myron Yanoff’s pathology text, which I read cover-to-cover several times. Being an associate of his and working with him to further ophthalmic knowledge has been tremendous. He’s a wonderful guy and a consummate teacher, and I feel lucky to be able to be in this situation.

We wrote the book to give clinicians information that will help them in their everyday practice. We want them to read something and immediately put it into practice. Having thousands of references or learning a lot about research that may never pan out doesn’t really help clinicians. What does help is practical knowledge to make their patients better. We’ve strived to stress clinically useful information in this book.

How Ophthalmology is Changing

What doesn’t change in medicine is that the patients come first and that medical decisions are still based on outcomes analysis. What is changing is that there is much more of an emphasis on outcomes analysis worldwide. Ophthalmology provides clinicians with information about new studies: what they show, what they mean, and how can they be applied in practice. Technology is going to continue to change ophthalmology rapidly in the future. Personalized medicine — the ability to do genetic studies and have other bio markers for disease, and then tailor treatments to individual patients based on genetic susceptibility —  is going to be extremely important in the near future. Surgical techniques continue to improve as the technology improves. Imaging techniques are also rapidly changing, both for the front of the eye and the back of the eye. When we first did this book, optical coherence tomography didn’t exist, and now we couldn’t practice modern ophthalmology without it.


Jay S. Duker, MD is an internationally recognized vitreoretinal surgeon, and serves as professor and chair of Ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine and director of the New England Eye Center. He is co-author of the third edition of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Duker specializes in medical and surgical diseases of the posterior segment, and he best known for his contributions to the field of optical coherence tomography (OCT) to diagnose and manage retinal diseases. He has directed several clinical trials at the New England Eye Center. Dr. Duker completed his medical studies at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, followed by a fellowship in Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery and Intraocular Tumors at Wills Eye Hospital.

Related Author: Myron Yanoff, MD