Written By Cece Owens
Medical discoveries are not only made in laboratories; they also occur during the care of patients where ideas become treatments that lead to future breakthroughs. This is research made available by an atmosphere of scientists and physicians working together. The vision for a comprehensive facility where researchers, clinicians, students, nurses, and technicians work together, sharing knowledge, studying the eye and caring for patients was the innovative dream of Ralph Hamilton, MD.
Dr. Hamilton began his 70-yearcareer in ophthalmology as a 15-year-old, assisting his father by shining a flashlight into the eyes of his cataract surgery patients. He was only 16 when he graduated from high school and 23 when he earned his medical degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis (UTHSC). When he returned to UTHSC in 1959, Dr. Hamilton already carried the dream of establishing an eye institute in Memphis. He continued to pursue the goal throughout his career, becoming a full clinical professor in 1979 and running a busy practice.
The Hamilton Eye Institute, a 60,000-square- foot facility opened in 2005, and current faculty and staff continue the threefold mission of providing advanced treatments for patient care, fostering an interplay of ideas among a community of scholars in a fertile environment for discovery, and transferring skills and knowledge to the next generation of physicians and researchers through a world-class ophthalmic medical education program. With many of the most advanced surgical training technologies available, the Hamilton Eye Institute’s educational facilities are among the finest available. Located in Midtown Memphis, the Hamilton Eye Institute provides clinical and surgical Ophthalmology services.
Dr. Ralph Hamilton passed away in 2017 leaving a formidable legacy of continued discipline in providing the best care through constant collaboration and research. As one of the Mid-South’s premier vision facilities, the Hamilton Eye Institute provides facilities of leading advancement in care and research of eye diseases and conditions.