Dr. Elson Lai is a board-certified eye physician and surgeon by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He graduated from Arcadia High School where he was an All-California Interscholastic Federation Water Polo player, attended the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated with honors and Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cell Biology.
At Berkeley, his fascination with the eyes began. He completed his honors thesis with his mentor, Vice Chancellor of Research, Dr. Beth Burnside on the “Characterization of Human class III myosin, a Cytoskeletal Associated Protein in the Photoreceptor.” He received his Doctorate of Medicine at the Chicago Medical School, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society and became a recipient for the Dean’s Award. Dr. Lai served as the chapter president of the American Medical Association and initiated the Healthy Kids Project, which currently is still serving the North Chicago Area.
Dr. Lai completed his internship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois where he received an Outstanding Clerkship Teacher award in Internal Medicine and his residency in ophthalmology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, which is the largest ophthalmology program in the country and regarded as one of the country’s best and most challenging residency programs. The residency program at University of Texas Southwestern is known to graduate doctors with experiences in high surgical volume and clinical pathology, and the program was also the first in the nation to train their residents the most advanced techniques in intraocular lens implantation during surgical cataract cases, which include Toric and ReSTOR lenses. These lenses allow for correction of astigmatism and multifocal vision, both of which allow patients to be less dependent on glasses. Dr. Lai also served as Surgery and Clinic Chief during his residency.
Dr. Lai’s interests include cataract and refractive surgery, macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, and treatment and management of glaucoma. In addition, he is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and the Los Angeles Society of Ophthalmology. He is involved and has volunteered as the eye physician for the Taiwanese Lions Club of San Gabriel Valley, where he does free eye screening for the surrounding community. Dr. Lai is a volunteer faculty in the Department of Ophthalmology at LAC+USC Medical Center, where he teaches residents surgical skills and various diseases in the eye.
Dr. Lai’s philosophy in eye care is to give his patients the quality of care that he would provide for his own family. He understands the importance of sight and the impact it has on the daily lives of his patients. Firmly believing that each patient deserves the most advanced treatments, Dr. Lai continues to educate himself with the most up-to-date research and treatment methods in eye care. Dr. Lai is excited to return to Southern California and looks forward to providing cutting-edge and compassionate eye care.