Alumni Highlight: David F. Chang, MD


World-Renowned Cataract Surgeon

UCSF ophthalmology alumnus David F. Chang, MD, has one of the most recognizable names in cataract surgery, thanks to scores of lectures and peer-reviewed papers. He is the recipient of some of the most prestigious international awards in his field. Dr. Chang is one of the few Americans to receive the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery’s Ridley Medal, as well as being voted by the international readership of The Ophthalmologist as one of the five most influential ophthalmologists in the world. However, he believes one of his most important professional legacies will be his commitment to resident education at UCSF.

Upon graduating from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Chang was attracted to the UCSF residency program because of its academic excellence and the priority given to resident training. He attributes his professional success to that training and mentorship from both the full-time and volunteer clinical faculty.

However, his proudest achievement is in giving back to the department throughout his 36 years in private practice, his way of honoring the “pay it forward” tradition of volunteer clinical faculty in ophthalmology at UCSF. Most recently, Dr. Chang is inspiring future generations of ophthalmologists with his generous lead philanthropic contributions to resident education through two endowed lectureships, as well as a dedicated resident teaching space in the new Wayne and Gladys Valley Center for Vision at Mission Bay.

His contributions to resident education have been recognized with the highest clinical faculty honor given by the UCSF School of Medicine: The Charlotte Baer Memorial award for distinguished service by volunteer faculty. This award has been bestowed upon an ophthalmologist only two other times since its inception 41 years ago.