Stephen L. Trokel, MD

  • Presented: 
    2008
  • Recognition: 
    ASCRS Ophthalmology Hall of Fame

Dr. Stephen Trokel is widely regarded for his pioneering work in the development and application of excimer lasers in corneal refractive surgery and as being the first ophthalmologist to recognize the significance of such an application. Dr. Trokel's vision and exhaustive research has made laser vision correction a realistic alternative to glasses and contacts for millions worldwide. He remains an innovator working to further develop and implement new technology.

Dr. Trokel was born in 1934. He graduated from Cornell University with a degree in physics and subsequently received his master's degree in radiation biology. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Rochester, New York. After completing his residency at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons and fellowships at the National Institutes of Health and at Columbia's Edward Harkness Eye Institute, Dr. Trokel received a Doctor of Medical Science degree in Ophthalmology-Physiology, also from Columbia.

He has held positions of progressive responsibility at the Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons including Assistant in Ophthalmology, 1967-1969; Instructor in Ophthalmology, 1969-1972; Associate in Ophthalmology, 1972-1974; Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, 1974-1978; and Associate Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, 1978-1985.  He now serves as Vice Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at Columbia, and the Director of Columbia Vision Correction Center. He is Attending Surgeon in Ophthalmology, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York since 1985, and Assistant Attending Surgeon at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in New York since 1984.

Dr. Trokel is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, the American College of Surgeons, the National Board of Medical Examiners, and is a member of both the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the American Academy of Ophthalmology. 

Dr. Trokel has published numerous book chapters and more than 100 papers in scientific journals. He is also the recipient of numerous awards in the Senior Honor Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 1989; and the Binkhorst Medal of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, in 1991. In 1999, He was nominated by more than over 30,000 of his peers as one of the 20th Century’s most influential ophthalmologists.