2020/2021 Lans Distinguished Award:John Berdahl, MD

Practicing in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is our board-certified ophthalmologist, John Berdahl MD. Widely regarded as one of the leading international cataract surgeons, he is one of the very few surgeons in the United States who is also fellowship trained in cornea, glaucoma, and refractive surgery. Dr. Berdahl has already performed more than 25,000 eye surgeries around the globe. His published work has primarily focused on the fundamental causes of glaucoma, minimally invasive glaucoma surgery, and astigmatism management during and after cataract surgery.

Dr. Berdahl has been involved in numerous FDA-monitored clinical trials on some of the most exciting technologies in ophthalmology. He also founded Equinox, which is developing the first nonsurgical, nonpharmacologic way to lower eye pressure for glaucoma treatment. He coinvented the MKO Melt, which provides sedation during cataract surgery without the use of an IV. Additionally, he created, which helps thousands of surgeons per month fix residual astigmatism after cataract surgery. Finally, in an effort to improve access to care, he cofounded ExpertOpinion.MD, which provides online opinions to patients from top doctors around the world.

Although Dr. Berdahl has many accomplishments, his primary driver is the trust that people place in him, particularly meeting his patients in their moments of vulnerability and putting their needs first. His commitment to the underserved is demonstrated by his leadership in EyeCare America, as well as in the Mission Vision program at Vance Thompson Vision, where he performs dozens of free surgeries every year. Dr. Berdahl also continues to serve the impoverished on mission trips worldwide.