America’s Best Eye Doctors 2021
Newsweek teams up with Statista, a respected market data and research firm, to find the 300 leading ophthalmologists and optometrists from across the country.
Demand for professional eye care in the U.S. is expected to increase significantly in the coming years as the population ages. Not only are we collectively growing older, we’re also working our tired eyes harder than ever before as more and more of our time—both at work and at play—is spent looking at screens. Meanwhile, serious eye ailments, like glaucoma, which can lead to blindness, are on the rise. With all that in mind, Newsweek partnered with the respected global data research firm Statista, to find the best eye doctors in the country.
We looked at the 20 most populous states in the U.S. and selected the 300 best ophthalmologists (M.D.S who specialize in treating the eye) and optometrists (licensed professionals who have earned a post-college doctor of optometry degree). We did not rank opticians, who are trained to design and fit eyeglasses and lenses but not to diagnose or treat diseases or injuries.
Our research started with a survey of over 10,000 ophthalmologists, optometrists, clinic managers and other health care professionals who we asked to recommend the best eye doctors in the U.S. What we were looking for were the doctors who had earned the most respect from their peers in three categories: the quality of care they provide, the continuity of care and the quality of the technology they use in their practices. (See methodology, p. 32.)
Taking care of your eyes is important and finding the right doctors can make a big difference. If you are looking for an eye doctor, we hope you’ll find our ranking helpful.
Aamerica’s Best ophthalmologists and Optometrists 2021 recognizes the 300 best eye doctors in the U.S.
Survey participants were asked to recommend eye doctors in their own state as well as throughout the U.S. (In-state and Out-of-state recommendations).
The ranking distinguishes ophthalmologists and optometrists in separate lists to account for differences in services and treatments. Ophthalmologists are doctors who have completed a medical degree and a residency in ophthalmology. These doctors have received 8 years or more of medical training. Optometrists are licensed practitioners who have received a Doctor of Optometry degree. They must obtain a 4-year post undergraduate degree.
A score was calculated for every eye doctor that was part of the analysis. This total score is based on four sub scores: the In-state recommendations, Out-ofstate recommendations, recommendations from the other specialty as well as a quality score.
Score for Each Ophthalmologist/optometrist
In cooperation with Newsweek, Statista invited over 10,000 medical experts (ophthalmologists, optometrists, clinic managers and health care professionals) to complete an online survey. Additionally, experts from all over the U.S. could participate in the survey of America’s Best Ophthalmologists and America’s Best Optometrists on newsweek.com. All data was collected during a survey period from April to June 2021. It was mandatory for participants to verify their email addresses. Quality checks were performed to avoid selfrecommendations. More than 4,000 votes from medical experts in the field of ophthalmology and optometry were collected.
Calculation of Recommendations Score
For the In-state recommendations participants were asked to recommend up to 15 of the best eye doctors for each specialty in their state. They were asked to recommend eye doctors by considering the quality of care, continuity of care and quality of technical equipment. For the Out-of-state recommendations, participants were asked to name up to 15 eye doctors in the U.S. Optionally, participants could also recommend doctors from the other specialty (ophthalmologists for optometrists and vice versa). These recommendations were weighted lower than recommendations from the same specialization.
Entry of recommendations was aided by an autocomplete function, which showed eye doctors based on the letters entered. It was also possible to recommend eye doctors that were not proposed by the autocomplete list.
Recommendations received different weights depending on the order in which they were given, with the first recommendation being assigned the highest weight. For example, recommendations for the best optometrist or ophthalmologist in each state received a 36 percent higher weight than recommendations for the fifth best optometrist or ophthalmologist in a state. A score was assigned to each eye doctor based on the number of weighted recommendations.
Recommendations constitute 85 percent of the overall score.
Calculation of Quality Score
Within the In-state recommendations participants were also asked to rank the quality dimensions which influence the quality of eye doctors. Participants were asked to differentiate between these variables:
→ Quality of care (e.g., treatments, consultation with a doctor) → Continuity of care (e.g., degree to which consistent and constant care is provided including preventive and follow-up care) → Quality of technical equipment (e.g., use of the most recent equipment)
The quality dimensions were shown to participants in a randomized order. Based on the reported importance of each quality dimension a quality score was assigned using the following weights: 50 percent Quality of care, 30 percent Continuity of care and 20 percent Quality of technical equipment.
For each recommended eye doctor, the participant rated the three quality variables on a scale from 1 (“Poor”) to 7 (“Excellent”). A quality score was assigned to each eye doctor based on the weighted average of these ratings. The quality score contributes 15 percent toward the overall score.
The rankings are comprised exclusively of eye doctors who were eligible based on the scope described here. A mention in the ranking is a positive recognition based on peer recommendations. The ranking was created through an elaborate process, however, the information in this ranking should be considered in conjunction with other available information about eye doctors or, if possible, accompanied by a visit to a facility. The quality of eye doctors not included in the rankings is not disputed.