Michael M. Lai, M.D., Ph.D.

Retina Specialist & Vitreoretinal Surgeon

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Associated Retinal Consultants, William Beaumont Hospital

Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital

“The hands-on involvement we have in conducting cutting-edge research is what I find most fulfilling. Testing new treatments and medications with the potential to truly advance the science—and help so many people—is a remarkable thing.”

Dr. Lai began his academic training at the University of California at Berkeley where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree with highest honors in Molecular and Cell Biology. He continued his education at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he earned both his M.D. and a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Medicine. His post-doctoral work included a Department of Medicine internship at the Massachusetts General Hospital, a residency in Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a fellowship with Associated Retinal Consultants in Michigan.

Board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and licensed in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., Dr. Lai is affiliated with Children’s National Medical Center, Friendship Surgery Center, Georgetown University Hospital and Washington Hospital Center. He is a member of numerous local and national medical associations and organizations, and is a past president of the Washington DC Metropolitan Ophthalmological Society as well as the Washington DC chapter of the North American Taiwanese Medical Association. Dr. Lai, who is fluent in Chinese, treats both adult and pediatric retinal patients.

In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Lai is an active participant in both education and research. He is currently the co-director of the combined Retina Group of Washington-Georgetown Hospital-Washington Hospital Center Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellowship program. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Georgetown University School of Medicine as well as an instructor at National Children’s Medical Center. He currently co-chairs the Fellowship Directors’ Education and Training Committee of the American Society of Retina Specialists.

Dr. Lai is a principal investigator for several national clinical research trials. He has published over 70 articles, abstracts and book chapters, regularly presents his research at local, national and international meetings, and is the past editor of Retina Update. He has earned such honors as Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha, and has received a myriad of medical awards including the Paul Ehrlich Research Award, Ronald G. Michels Foundation Fellowship Award, the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Fellowship Award and the Honor Award from the American Society of Retina Specialists.

In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Lai has received numerous honors within the medical community. He was elected into the Retina Society, listed among America’s “Best Doctors,” selected by his colleagues as a “Super Doctors Rising Star,” named an “Innovator in Medical and Surgical Retina” by Ocular Surgery News, and voted a “Top Doctor” by Washingtonian Magazine.

Media Appearances & Activities/Accomplishments

Drs. Joshua Levinson, Michael Lai, and Jacqueline Daubert Publish Article Entitled: “Outcomes of Retinal Surgery Performed by Supervised First-Year Vitreoretinal Fellows-in-Training”

Dr. Joshua LevinsonDr. Michael Lai & Dr. Jacqueline Daubert published an article entitled “Outcomes of Retinal Surgery Performed by Supervised First-Year Vitreoretinal Fellows-in-Training” in the Journal of VitreoRetinal Diseases. Under the guidance of RGW surgeons, fellows in the combined Retina Group of Washington-Georgetown-Washington Hospital Center vitreoretinal fellowship achieved surgical success rates that compare favorably to those of more experienced vitreoretinal surgeons.

Drs. Joshua Levinson, Richard Garfinkel & Michael Lai Publish Article Entitled “Bilateral Uveitis following Typhoid Fever”

Dr. Joshua LevinsonDr. Richard Garfinkel & Dr. Michael Lai published an article entitled “Bilateral Uveitis following Typhoid Fever” in the Journal of VitreoRetinal Diseases. Typhoid fever is caused by a bacterial infection endemic in many developing nations. During recovery from the illness, patients may develop an autoimmune syndrome affecting multiple organs including the eyes. In this paper, the RGW doctors describe one of the first cases of typhoid-related uveitis ever reported in the United States.

Drs. Daniel M. Berinstein, William F. Deegan III and Michael M. Lai Receive Recognition in Annual Washingtonian “Top Doctors”

Dr. Daniel M. Berinstein, William F. Deegan III and Michael M. Lai were selected by their peers as “Top Doctors” in the highly-regarded Washingtonian list. More than 12,000 D.C. area physicians received surveys asking “whom would you trust to provide care for their patients” in a particular medical specialty. All three RGW doctors are repeat selections in this bi-annual survey.

Verified Patient Reviews

The following ratings and comments are based on verified patient experiences collected by an independent third-party survey vendor after each patient visit and reflect each patient's own views and opinions.

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Weekly Schedule:

Days: Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Location: Chevy Chase Rockville Rockville Chevy Chase


Chevy Chase, MD

5454 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 650 Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Tel: 301.656.8100
Fax: 301.652.2957

Rockville, MD

600 Jefferson Plaza, Suite 320 Rockville, MD 20852

Tel: 301.315.2198
Fax: 301.315.2187

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