The University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology became an independent department in 1925 not long after the University Hospitals and Clinics was built. Prior to that time, ophthalmology was part of surgery. Dr. C.S. O’Brien was appointed as the first head of the department and immediately began to emphasize training of academic clinicians and research. This policy has continued with his successors, Alson E. Braley, MD (1950 -1967), Frederick C. Blodi, MD (1967 - 1984), Charles D. Phelps, MD (1984 -1985), Thomas A. Weingeist, PhD, MD (1986 - 2005). and Keith D. Carter, MD who became department head in 2006.
We have a diverse faculty with wide-ranging clinical and research interests. Many are internationally known and have been in the department for many years. We also have bright young faculty who bring new interests and enthusiasm to the practice and teaching of ophthalmology. All clinical faculty participate in resident training, clinical practice, and research.
Faculty associated with University of Iowa Ophthalmology are present at both the Des Moines and Iowa City Veterans Affairs Hospitals and at the Des Moines Broadlawns Hospital. Clinical faculty in private practice are also located in Iowa City, Davenport, and Des Moines. Research and Clinical Laboratories are located in the Medical Research Center and the Medical Education and Research Facility.