Frederick C. Cordes Eye Society – Alumni Society of the Department of Ophthalmology, UCSF

Frederick C. Cordes
Frederick C. Cordes



The Frederick C. Cordes Eye Society was formed to foster and encourage active participation by alumni in the teaching programs of the Department of Ophthalmology of the University of California, San Francisco. Please see our History, below.

Please contact your Cordes President, Isabella Phan, MD, or Cordes liaison Leah Jarvis (All May See, Database Manager – or 415.476.4016) with any questions.

Pay Membership Dues

One fee gets you full benefits of the Frederick C. Cordes Eye Society and admission for you and a guest to all Cordes events. 

Thank you if you have already renewed your Cordes Dues for 2023-24! For those who have not yet paid their dues, this year’s active Cordes Membership Fee is $150. Please click the registration button below to pay your dues online.

If you would like to check on your payment/registration status, please reach out to Cordes Liaison Leah Jarvis (All May See, Database Manager) at

We are looking forward to celebrating with you, in person, in San Francisco!

Kindest personal regards,Isabella Phan, MD                 Sachin Patel, MD, PhD
President                                Vice President


If you are able, please donate to the Resident Education Fund at All May See.




Past Event: 2023 Frederick C. Cordes Eye Society Scientific Meeting during the December Course 

Program – Saturday, December 9th, 2023 from 12:30 – 5pm

The 2023 UCSF Ophthalmology Update was held December 8 – 9th at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, CA. Please click here for a copy of the full agenda.The Cordes Program during the December Course was scheduled for Saturday, December 9th with the Business Lunch from 12:30 – 1:30pm and then the main program ran from 1:30 – 5:00pm at the Robertson Auditorium (1675 Owens Street | Suite 251 | San Francisco, CA 94143-3008). Please click here for a copy of the full agenda.


Cordes Program Update – Saturday, December 9

12:30 pm Frederick C. Cordes Eye Society Business Lunch Meeting
1:30 pm Opening Remarks and Introduction of Williams Lecture Ying Qian, MD; A. Sydney Williams, MD
1:35 pm Williams Lecture Nailyn Rasool, MD
1:55 pm Q&A
2:00 pm Four-Year Visual Outcomes in the Protocol W Randomized Trial of Intravitreous Aflibercept for Prevention of Vision-Threatening Complications of Diabetic Retinopathy Soraya Rafagha, MD
2:15 pm Panel Discussion, Careers by the DecadeEarly Career.  Panelists: Drs. Debbie Kuo, Tiffany Chen, Katie Niemeyer Moderator: Isabella Phan, MD
2:45 pm Ten year results of trans-epithelial corneal crosslinking Daniel Goodman, MD
3:00 pm TBA Scott McClintic, MD
3:15 pm Panel Discussion, Careers by the DecadeMid Career.  Panelists: Drs. Jyotsom Ganatra,Mike Geske, Julie Schallhorn, Sarah Nehls,Scott McClintic Moderator: Bryan Winn, MD
3:45 pm Use of extended depth of focus intraocular lens implant following refractive surgery: results & patient satisfaction Sarah Nehls, MD
4:00 pm Introduction of Kramer Lecture Ying Qian, MD
4:05 pm Kramer Lecture Charles Lin, MD
4:25 pm Q&A
4:30 pm Late Career.  Panelists: Drs. Eddy Tamura, RonMelles, Sam Gelbart, Charlene Hsu-WingesStuart Seiff Moderator: David Chang, MD
5:00 pm Closing Remarks
5:05 pm Adjourn
5:05 pm Social Hour at Mission Rock Resort(817 Terry A. Francois Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94158)



 Additional Benefits of Cordes Membership

  • Membership wall certificate
  • Communications and mailings that keep us up to date with each other as well as with the University of California, San Francisco, Department of Ophthalmology
  • Recognition in the roster of Active Cordes Members in an issue of Vision magazine, produced by That Man May See. Every issue of Visions seeks to highlight the accomplishments of our alumni. You are invited to send information to to be included in an upcoming issue
  • Cordes membership directory containing your colleagues’ updated information

Make a Gift to Support Resident Education

As alumni, each of us can take special pride in the increasing luster of your own UCSF education when our residents succeed and become leaders nationwide. The number of HEED Fellowships awarded overwhelmingly come to our UCSF residents. Since 2009, 47 percent of all UCSF Ophthalmology graduates have received this honor. Our program garners more Heed Fellowship awardees than any other in the country, a significant testament to its caliber. Our alumni gifts make a huge difference in the $100,000 spent annually by All May See for the department to provide trainees with didactic materials, surgical training supplies, educational travel, and funding for their research programs.

The education and training of the next generation of clinicians and scientists is one of our highest priorities at UCSF Ophthalmology. Please make a tax-deductible gift to All May See to support resident education. Help us inspire the future of ophthalmology. Click here to learn more about supporting resident education through All May See 


Past Events


  • December Course (see above)
  • AAO
  • ARVO













In the winter of 1948, as the Medical School community (and America) was coming back to normal after the end of World War II, Dr. Michael J. Hogan sent out an inquiry to former residents about having a reunion of the U.C. Eye Residents. The handwritten rough draft of his letter survives (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2). Carbon copies of the final draft have been found and date the beginnings of Dr. Hogan’s ideas to February 16, 1948 (Fig. 3).

Having received many favorable responses to his initial proposal, Dr. Hogan (a.k.a. “Uncle Mike”) drafted a formal letter to all of the known residents of the U.C. Medical School program (rough draft handwritten notes are seen on Fig. 4 and Fig. 5 along with a list of residents). He worked from a partially handwritten list of the then known U.C. residents (Fig. 6 and Fig. 7).

His final draft was typewritten on August 17, 1948 (no word processors!) and we do not have an original, but, some carbon copies of his original invitations still survive, one of which is reproduced here (Fig. 8).

Of course, we all must remember that U.C.S.F. medical center was not a “campus” of the University of California at that time, it was governed by a Provost, and considered a division of U.C. Berkeley. The Berkeley campus conferred any undergraduate degrees at that time.

That original meeting of the University of California Eye Residents Association was held as scheduled, on September 11, 1948, and was considered a great success. In succeeding years, the process for holding the meeting and the resident responsibilities for organizing the meeting became more refined. For example, in 1953, when second year resident Vernon Lightfoot, M.D. was the resident in charge of getting the meeting together, his letter was a simple, mimeographed, form letter that allowed for easy responding by potential attendees such as Dr. Harrington (Fig. 9). By the time Dr. Mullen was responding for the meeting, it had boiled down to returning a simple postcard for reserving your attendance (Fig. 10 and Fig. 11).

By the mid-1950s the rosters of the University of California Eye Residents looked like the one reproduced in Fig. 12, 13, 14.

Over the years after Dr. Hogan started the meetings in 1948, Dr. Cordes’ role in this meeting for the residents became of more importance, not only because of his faithful attendance, but also because he would later consistently arrange for the banquets to be held at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco, among other things. When Dr. Cordes retired as Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, in 1959, members felt that the University of California Residents Association should be renamed in his honor because he had trained or was chairman during the training of all of the known graduates of the program at that time. He was, also, the first chairman of the “Department” of Ophthalmology. Previously, Ophthalmology had been known as a “Division” in the Department of Surgery of the School of Medicine. Since 1959, therefore, this organization has been known as the Frederick C. Cordes Eye Society. (also see Historical References).

In 1999, we celebrated the 40th reunion of the Frederick C. Cordes Eye Society (see Scrapbook Images). The actual 50th anniversary of the University of California Eye Residents Association occurred in 1998.

Therefore, historically, the 2008 meeting will actually be the 60th reunion of the University of California Residents Association. In 2009, the annual meeting was the 50th reunion of the Frederick C. Cordes Eye Society.



A current Roster is available electronically (MS Word format) upon receipt of an email request from a verifiable member of the society. Send your request to: Some additional rosters available online are the following:

List of Named Lectures


Rosters of Awards:



Scrap Book

Click here to see images from the 1999, 40th reunion of the Frederick C. Cordes Eye Society.

Click here to see images from the 2008, 49th Annual Banquet.

Click here to see images from the 2009, 50th reunion of the Frederick C. Cordes Eye Society, provided by Greer Geiger, M.D.

Click here to see images (part two) from the 2009, 50th reunion of the Frederick C. Cordes Eye Society provided by Greer Geiger, M.D.

Professional photographs are available:
Genevieve Shiffrar photographed many of the events associated with the Cordes Society Anniversary meeting. She has put online a nice selection of photos for your enjoyment. There’s an easy-to-use shopping cart to order prints. Just go to or to and click on the link “Cordes Society Anniversary.” If you have any questions, please email Genevieve directly at


Historical References

Dr. Cordes’ A.J.O. Special Issue (click here)

Dr. Cordes’ Carter Collection Essay (click here) – A series of typewritten essays, written by historical campus figures, is contained in the Carter Collection of the Rare Books Room of the Main Library. This essay was written by Dr. Cordes as he contemplated his retirement from a 40 year relationship with the Parnassus campus. It recalls his memories from the earliest years of the Medical School of the University of California. It is written in his own style and, if read in its entirety, gives you a feeling that you might know him personally. It is reproduced here in its original formatting. R. Dudley Stone.