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Ophthalmology Chair, Dr. Robert Fechtner

Message from the Chair

Welcome to Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences at Upstate Medical University. The Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences consists of our clinical operation, the Upstate Center for Vision Care and our research endeavor, the Upstate Center for Vision Research.

The Upstate Center for Vision Care is the hub of our clinical enterprise. We like to think of our clinical department as a small family. We have a core of full-time faculty and a full complement of community voluntary faculty. The residents always work closely with the full-time and part-time faculty. Many of our subspecialty clinics are staffed by the voluntary faculty and the residents operate with these highly skilled surgeons in university operating rooms and in the community surgery centers. This provides our residents with a broader perspective than they might otherwise receive.

We are also affiliated with the Syracuse Veterans Administration Health Center, which has a busy clinical and surgical service. Many of our residents go on to do top-notch fellowships and it is not uncommon for our residents to remain or return to the Syracuse area after they complete their training.

Our department has a long history of community involvement. In addition to the tertiary level sub-specialty care, we are the eye-care resource for diverse immigrant and financially disadvantaged communities. Consequently, we see an extraordinary variety of interesting and challenging ophthalmologic problems. Our close relationships with community subspecialists allow us to contribute to a high level of eye care for the more than one million people who call Central New York and the North Country home.

The Upstate Center for Vision Research seeks fundamental understanding of vision, from molecules to cells and tissues to visual perception, and to apply this knowledge to finding cures for blindness. The research faculty members include some of the most respected names in ophthalmology and bring a wealth of experience to their work. Our current grant funding places the Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences in the top 35 National Eye Institute-funded research centers in the nation. The Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences is honored to have received an Unrestricted Grant from Research to Prevent Blindness, a distinction that is shared with only 37 other university centers in the country and just three others in New York State.

I invite you to explore our website and feel free to contact us.

Very truly yours,
Robert D. Fechtner, M.D.
Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences