Wills Eye Hospital
National Naval Medical Center
“I can make a very difficult process easier by letting my patients know they are not alone. I take whatever time is necessary to help them understand the treatment option I’ve chosen and why it’s the best one for them. Making them feel confident in me—and comfortable in the approach I’m taking—is so very important.”
Dr. Byrnes, a recipient of Washingtonian’s 2019 Top Doctor honor, first pursued his passion for medicine at the University of Colorado where he received a Bachelor of Arts (with distinction) in Molecular/Cellular Biology. He then went to the F. Edward Herbert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences where he was awarded a Doctor of Medicine degree. His post-doctoral training started with a Family Practice internship at the Naval Hospital in Pensacola, Fla. and was followed by a residency in Ophthalmology at the National Naval Medical Center and a fellowship in Vitreoretinal Surgery/Ocular Oncology at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia.
For more than 10 years, Dr. Byrnes trained ophthalmologists as a Residency Program Director at the National Naval Medical Center. He also has worked extensively as a volunteer staff member at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), performing patient consultations and surgeries for national research projects. His multifaceted role at The Retina Group of Washington includes serving as a surgical instructor for the practice’s Retinal Surgery Fellowship program.
Dr. Byrnes is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is an Examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology. He holds licenses in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with Washington Hospital Center and Inova Fairfax Oaks Hospital. He heads the latter’s Retinal Surgery Section, one of the busiest and most respected facilities of its kind in Northern Virginia.
A participant in numerous clinical and laboratory research projects throughout his career, Dr. Byrnes assisted in NIH studies on macular degeneration, uveitis and ocular lymphoma. He was the principal investigator for the Ozurdex implant-which gained FDA approval and is used extensively today—and has over 20 published abstracts and 30 published articles to his credit, including a piece entitled “How Trout See” for Fly Fisherman. Dr. Byrnes is a frequent presenter at regional and national meetings and he oversees an annual retinal meeting in the Washington, D.C. area. He has received humanitarian and teaching awards and also volunteers as a Staff Ophthalmologist at the Fairfax Lyons Clinic.
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