New York Eye and Ear Infirmary Ophthalmologist Receives Prestigious Jose Rizal International Medal for 2011

Robert Ritch, MDNew York, NY (March 2011) -- Robert Ritch, MD, FACS, the Shelley and Steven Einhorn Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology, Surgeon Director and Chief, Glaucoma Services, at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, is the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Jose Rizal International Medal from the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO). The award will be presented during the opening ceremony of the 26th APAO Congress in Sydney, Australia on March 20, 2011.

The Jose Rizal International Medal is given to an outstanding ophthalmologist who has made exceptionally valuable contributions to ophthalmology in the Asia-Pacific region. The award was instituted to commemorate Dr. Jose Rizal, an ophthalmologist who is considered the father of independence of the Philippines.

Dr. Ritch has worked extensively in the Asia Pacific region to advance ophthalmic education and specifically the subspecialty of glaucoma. He has organized meetings, established teaching programs and helped to modernize ophthalmology in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Laos, Myanmar and other countries.  Altogether, he has trained over 130 clinical and research fellows from all over the word, 30 International Council of Ophthalmology Fellows, and nearly 100 observers from over 50 countries, many of whom occupy academic positions worldwide.

About Robert Ritch, MD

Dr. Ritch has devoted his career to broadening the world’s understanding of the nature of glaucoma and innovation in the medical, laser, and surgical treatment of glaucoma.

A graduate of Harvard College (BA) and Harvard University (MA), he received his MD from Albert Einstein School of Medicine and, after an internship at St. Vincent’s Medical Center and a residency in Ophthalmology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, received fellowships in glaucoma from the Heed Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. A Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology, he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American College of Surgeons, the International College of Surgeons, the Royal College of Ophthalmology, and the New York Academy of Medicine, and is a member of more than 35 scientific and medical societies.

He serves on numerous medical and scientific advisory and editorial boards and is or has been President of the Ophthalmic Laser Surgical Society, the Lindberg Society, the Von Graefe Society, the New York Society for Clinical Ophthalmology, the New York Academy of Medicine Section on Ophthalmology, the New York Glaucoma Society. In 2002, he was appointed to the Advisory Committee to the Board of Directors of the International Council of Ophthalmology and in 2009, was elected Chairman of the Committee. In 2003; he was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and served as Vice-President in 2006-2007.

In 1996, he received the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Ophthalmologist of the Year award and in 1998, the Gold Medal of Merit and Honor from the Greek Glaucoma Society and the Ophthalmology Times Achievement in Ophthalmology Award. In 1999, he was one of the winners of the Louis Rudin Award for research in ophthalmology. In 2000, he received the Jesse H. Neal Award for Editorial Achievement. His awards since 2006 include the Albion O. Bernstein, MD Award of the Medical Society of the State of New York for outstanding contributions to medicine, the American Academy Ophthalmology Lifetime Achievement Honor Award, the Leaders in Education in Ophthalmology (LEO award), the Dean’s Distinguished Research Award from New York Medical College, the TKC Liu Memorial Award for Leadership in Ophthalmology, Hong Kong, the Glaucoma Foundation Award for Innovation and Excellence in Glaucoma, the Ronald F. Lowe Medal of the Australia-New Zealand Ophthalmologic Association, the Dominick Purpura Distinguished Alumnus Annual Award from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the ARVO Distinguished Service award, and the HRH Prince Abdulaziz Al-Saud Prevention of Blindness Award.

Dr. Ritch has co-authored or edited nine textbooks and over 1,500 medical and scientific papers, book chapters, articles and abstracts.

He was co-founder of the Ophthalmic Laser Surgical Society, the New York Glaucoma Society, the Lindberg Society, an international organization dedicated to the eradication of exfoliation syndrome, and the von Graefe Society, an international organization devoted to normal-tension glaucoma. He has presented nearly 700 lectures worldwide, including 33 named lectures.

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