Jeffrey Whitman, M.D. is President and Chief Surgeon of Key-Whitman Eye Center. He was born in Dallas, attended Hillcrest High School and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Southern Methodist University. Dr. Whitman earned his M.D. at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He completed his internship at the same institution and completed his residency training in Ophthalmology at Scott and White Clinic in Temple, Texas. Dr. Whitman has practiced at Key-Whitman Eye Center since 1985.
Dr. Whitman is a recipient of the American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award, is the immediate President of the American College of Eye Surgeons, and he was recognized by D Magazine’s “Best Doctors” peer review as one of Dallas’ best for the last 11 years. Dr. Whitman is married and the proud father of two daughters.
In an effort to get to know more about Dr. Whitman, we sat down with him to discuss a number of topics, including what inspired him to become a laser eye surgeon.
What is your biggest inspiration that got you to where you are today? Who/what inspired you to become a laser eye surgeon?
My youngest sibling, my sister. She was born with ambylopia or lazy eye and this necessitated a surgery and a large number of visits to the ophthalmologist. Me being the next to the youngest, I was “dragged” to each appointment. The ophthalmologist had the most calming, soothing bedside manner and from that point forward, I wanted to be an ophthalmologist so I could be like him! When I first entered practice I was able to reach out to him and let him know that he was the reason. And I have had the opportunity to operate (LASIK) on my sister’s lazy eye.
What is most rewarding about your work?
Seeing and talking to patients the day after they have had eye surgery. The smiles and the hugs are the BEST.
Is there a specific “why I do what I do” story or example you can share with us?
We did eye surgery on a patient who is quadriplegic so he would not need to wear glasses (obviously someone always had to put them on for him). What a blessing to see how happy he is when he comes in for regular appointments.
Do you have dreams or aspirations for the future of your career?
I feel that I am at the top of my field now–I teach, lecture, do FDA research, make presentations and take care of thousands of patients each year. I don’t want to get greedy.
What are some hobbies you enjoy outside of work?
Water and snow skiing. I never learned to play golf.
What is one thing people may not know about you?
I played drums in the marching band in high school.
If we were to interview your patients, what is one thing you would hope your patients would say about their experience with you and Key-Whitman?
I hope they would say that they did not have to wait long when they are at my office. It is the number one complaint at all doctors’ offices and we work to improve this situation on a daily basis.
Is there one type of surgery you enjoy most?
Cataract surgery–it is different on every patient and on every eye. This surgery constantly challenges me to be a better and better surgeon.
Are there any common misconceptions many patients have that you would like to clear up about laser eye surgery?
It doesn’t hurt and “laser surgery” can mean many things. We have lasers to close up leaky blood vessels from diabetes. We have lasers that dissolve membranes inside the eye. We have lasers that assist in cataract surgery. Most people are familiar with lasers used for LASIK surgery, but that is only a bit of what we use lasers for in eye surgery.
Dr. Whitman’s passion and inspiration is fueled by his own personal experiences and his desire to help others. He is not only an experienced eye surgeon, but a dedicated husband and father. As a doctor, it is his goal that every one of his patients feels cared for and leaves his office able to live a better quality of life than they were before. If you have questions about how laser eye surgery might be able to improve not only your vision, but your life, contact Key-Whitman for a free consultation.