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Meet a Specialist: John Loewenstein, MDDr. Loewenstein

A two-week elective course in ophthalmology as a third-year medical student led to a lifetime of specialization for Mass. Eye and Ear’s Associate Clinical Chief of Ophthalmology and Associate Chief of Ophthalmic Education Dr. John Loewenstein. "I just thought the eye was beautiful, and examining it was fun," he says.

As one of 15 physicians who comprise Mass. Eye and Ear's Retina Service, Dr. Loewenstein treats common and rare retinal conditions from diabetic retinopathy to macular degeneration. A practicing ophthalmologist for almost 40 years, he enjoys his specialty as much now as he did during that two-week course in medical school. "I never get tired of examining the eye," he says.

In addition to providing clinical care through the Retina Service, Dr. Loewenstein also plays an important role improving clinical care by educating the ophthalmologists of the future. Dr. Loewenstein currently serves as Vice Chair for Medical Education for the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Department of Ophthalmology and previously served as Residency Program Director for the HMS Department of Ophthalmology Residency Training Program for more than a decade.

Since joining Mass. Eye and Ear in 1985, Dr. Loewenstein has developed numerous program innovations, including a progressive surgical curriculum and a formal, faculty-proctored wet lab mentoring program. In addition, he and Dr. Demetrios Vavvas established the first national vitrectomy course for first-year vitreoretinal fellows, which fills to capacity each year.

Developing computer simulations to enhance the quality of present and prospective residents' surgical education is also a major focus of Dr. Loewenstein's research. In collaboration with Dr. Bonnie Henderson, he pioneered a revolutionary teaching tool, the Mass. Eye and Ear Cataract Master™. This interactive computer program for teaching cataract surgery is now available to residency programs worldwide. Using a similar approach, he is heading up another computer based project that will ultimately help teach residents to screen for retinopathy of prematurity.

Whether he is providing education or clinical care, it is the variety of tasks involved in practicing ophthalmology that fascinates Dr. Loewenstein. "I love working with the residents and fellows and caring for my patients," he emphasizes. "Whether I'm in an exam room or in a conference room, there is always something exciting happening at Mass. Eye and Ear." 

Contact Dr. Loewenstein's office at 617-573-4274.

View Dr. Loewenstein's online bio for more information.

Request an appointment.