1800 818 543
1800 818 543

Mr. Steve Schallhorn

IMAB Chairman

Mr. Steve Schallhorn is internationally acknowledged as one of the most respected refractive surgeons in the world. He is the Chairman of the Optical Express International Medical Advisory Board (IMAB).

In 2007, Mr. Schallhorn retired as a Captain from the United States Navy. During his naval career he was the Director of Corneal Service and Refractive Surgery at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, created, initiated and directed the Department of Defense refractive surgery program and served as the first United States Navy Refractive Surgery Program Manager. He was the primary investigator in the sentinel studies which evaluated visual recovery and performance characteristic of PRK and LASIK before excimer lasers were FDA approved. He was the first surgeon in the United States Department of Defense to perform LASIK and PRK procedures and implant phakic intraocular lenses.

Mr. Schallhorn is recognized by his peers as an expert in refractive surgery and anterior segment surgery. He is one of only a small group of excimer laser instructors in the United States. A gifted public speaker, he lectures regularly at ophthalmic meetings and educational conferences worldwide and is a visiting professor of medicine at Harvard, USC, UCSF, and Baylor Universities.

Mr. Schallhorn served as a consultant to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He is an advisor for refractive surgery to Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain, Greece, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and Turkey. He also has worked with all five branches of the United States Armed Forces.

An avid researcher, Mr. Schallhorn has served as a clinical investigator on numerous Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clinical trials over the past 25-years. He has presented more than 200 clinical papers, made countless presentations throughout America, Europe, and Asia, and is the author of numerous academic journal publications and papers.

Before entering medical school, Mr. Schallhorn had a successful career as a Naval Aviator and TOP GUN instructor in the US Navy. While at TOP GUN, film screenwriter Jack Epps, Jr. interviewed him to get background for the movie Top Gun and, although the movie is a fictitious portrayal of Naval Aviation, some of the events in the movie were based on stories relayed by Mr. Schallhorn.

Mr. Schallhorn’s naval aviation background carried over into his medical career. While at medical school he instituted and directed a multi-year project that resulted in enhanced combat survivability of aircrew through the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory (NAMRL). In 1993, it was this same aviation perspective that gave Mr. Schallhorn the insight to research excimer laser surgery, then in its pre-FDA approval stage. Being a naval aviator, he understood the need for perfect vision. He recognized the potential this infant science had to offer to those whose occupations demanded precise vision, such as aviation. He also recognized that there were occupations where accurate vision was needed but the work environment was not favorable to glasses or contact lenses. With this knowledge, Mr. Schallhorn has spent his career in pursuit of safer, more effective and more precise methods of vision correction.

Society Memberships

Achievements, Awards, and Honors

Presentations and Abstracts



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