Robert Ritch

Robert Ritch, MD

  • CLINICAL PROFESSOR | Ophthalmology


Ophthalmology, Glaucoma

Dr. Robert Ritch holds the Shelley and Steven Einhorn Distinguished Chair in Ophthalmology and is Surgeon Director Emeritus and Chief of Glaucoma Services at the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, New York City and Professor of Ophthalmology at The New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York. He has devoted his career to broadening our understanding of the underlying etiologies and mechanisms of glaucoma and innovation in its medical, laser, and surgical treatment. Dr. Ritch received his B.A. cum laude from Harvard College and an M.A. in cell biology from Harvard University. He received his M.D. from Albert Einstein College 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, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and the New York Academy of Medicine, and is a member of more than 35 scientific and medical societies. Dr. Ritch has been President of the Ophthalmic Laser Surgical Society, the New York Glaucoma Society, the Section on Ophthalmology of the New York Academy of Medicine, and the New York Society for Clinical Ophthalmology. He serves on numerous medical and scientific advisory and editorial boards and is a member of the Glaucoma Research Society, the Steering Committee of the World Glaucoma Association, and the Board of Directors of the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology. In 1996, Dr. Ritch 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. In 2002, Dr. Ritch was appointed to the Advisory Committee to the Board of Directors of the International Council of Ophthalmology and was elected Chairman of the Committee in 2009 and appointed to the Board of Directors of the International Council. 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. 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 of Ophthalmology Lifetime Achievement Honor Award, the Leadership in Education in Ophthalmology (LEO) Award, the Dean’s Distinguished Research Award from the New York Medical College, The Glaucoma Foundation Award for Innovation and Excellence in Glaucoma, the TKC Liu Memorial Award for Leadership in Ophthalmology, the Dominick Purpura Distinguished Alumnus Annual Award from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the ARVO Distinguished Service Award, ARVO Gold Fellowship, the HRH Prince Abdulaziz Al-Saud Prevention of Blindness Award (2010), the Jose Rizal International Medal (2011), the Maghraby International Achievement Award (2012), the inaugural Asia-Pacific Glaucoma Society International Achievement Award (2012). In 2012, he was elected to Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis. In 2013, he was the American Glaucoma Society Guest of Honor, and received the World Glaucoma Association Recognition Award. In 2014, he received the Moacyr Alvaro Gold Medal, and was the Guest of Honor, Asia-Pacific Glaucoma Congress, Hong Kong. Dr. Ritch has co-authored or edited nine textbooks and over 1600 medical and scientific papers, book chapters, articles and abstracts. He has presented nearly 700 lectures worldwide, including 36 named lectures. In 1985, he founded the Glaucoma Foundation and has served as Secretary, Medical Director, and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board. In 1994, he initiated the annual Optic Nerve Rescue and Regeneration Think Tank, which has attracted numerous successful researchers from other fields into glaucoma research. He also co-founded the New York Glaucoma Research Institute, a not-for-profit foundation to sponsor clinical research in glaucoma, the Internet newsgroup, the New York Glaucoma Support and Education Group, and the World Glaucoma Patient Association. He was one of the three organizers of the first annual World Glaucoma Day in 2008. He was co-founder of the Ophthalmic Laser Surgical Society, the New York Glaucoma Society, and the Lindberg Society, an international organization dedicated to the eradication of exfoliation syndrome; the ARVO Host-a-Research Program, the ARVO U.S.-Russia Ophthalmology Task Force, the Von Graefe Society, an international organization dedicated to the study of risk factors for glaucoma other than intraocular pressure. Dr. Ritch has trained over 130 clinical and research fellows, many of whom occupy academic positions worldwide. The international training program that he established at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary has hosted over 50 International Council of Ophthalmology fellows and more than 100 observers from over 40 countries. He has worked and lectured extensively at the international level and has organized many symposia and conferences both in the United States and abroad. He has dedicated much of his time internationally over the last 30 years, and has organized conferences and symposia, trained over 60 fellows and observers, helped to establish residency and teaching programs and has made fundamental contributions to the modernization of ophthalmology in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Laos, Myanmar and other countries in Asia, and in Latin America.

Clinical Focus


Residency, Ophthalmology, * Mount Sinai Medical Center *

Fellowship, Glaucoma, * Mount Sinai Medical Center *

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