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    Lee Nordan, MD, innovator in refractive surgery, remembered

    Photo courtesy of Arun C. Gulani, MDLee T. Nordan, MD, known to the ophthalmic community as one of the leading and most innovative refractive surgeons, passed away Dec. 21, 2015 at the age of 69 from glioblastoma, a rare and extremely aggressive form of brain cancer.

    To his colleagues, Dr. Nordan was a legend—someone who was not afraid to dream of the impossible, speak his truth, and invest his time and effort into bringing out the best in his fellow surgeons.

    To his friends, he was an inspiration, a talent, and a force to be reckoned with on the golf course. He was also a devoted father and husband for whom his family meant the world.

    In the span of his career, Dr. Nordan was a pioneer in refractive surgery, held five U.S. patents, one of them being a multifocal IOL, and authored The Surgical Rehabilitation of Vision, a commonly referred to textbook on refractive surgery. At the end of his career, he was a practice consultant at North County Laser Eye Associates in Carlsbad, CA, where he trained Paul Chen, MD, before he retired.

    “It was a privilege taking over Dr. Nordan's practice and working with him before his retirement,” Dr. Chen said. “Seeing his former patients over the years constantly reminds me of his lasting influence on ophthalmology and the refractive surgery field.  I could always rely on Lee to offer insight for difficult or complicated cases.” 

    One of the most humbling milestones in the career of Robert H. Osher, MD, was receiving the 2004 Lee Nordan Achievement Award from Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today. “I was proud to receive this honor named after my dear friend,” he said. “I join so many others in expressing deep admiration for Dr. Lee Nordan and in celebrating the extraordinary way he lived his remarkable life.”Photo courtesy of Arun C. Gulani, MD

    When Dr. Nordan had a speaking engagement, it was common for the room to be packed because everyone knew that he spoke from extensive experience and complete integrity. “Those who listened carefully would be treated to some surgical insight that was light years ahead of its time,” said Dr. Osher, MD, medical director emeritus of Cincinnati Eye Institute, Cincinnati. 

    "He was invincible..."

    Jolie Higazi
    Jolie is the Content Specialist for Ophthalmology Times. She can be reached at [email protected]

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