Board-Certified Ophthalmologist, Cornea Specialist
For Dr. Jeff Golen, joining Magruder Eye Institute as a Cornea Specialist and Comprehensive Ophthalmologist meant moving back to the area he loves while getting the opportunity to pursue his professional passion for corneal eye care. “It’s such a pleasure to be part of this team of highly respected eye care specialists. They’ve built a strong and thriving practice here in Central Florida that is widely known for the caliber of eye care provided,” he states.
Originally from the metro Detroit area, Dr. Golen met his wife, Blair, a native Floridian, in Tampa where he did his medical internship and his Ophthalmology residency at the University of South Florida. “We couldn’t be happier to be back here. My wife and I love the never-ending activities for families to enjoy in the Orlando area,” he adds. “And, now that we have a young daughter, it’s great to be so close to family and friends.”
Prior to his position at Magruder Eye Institute, Dr. Golen helped train the next generation of Ophthalmologists and surgeons at the University of Virginia Department of Ophthalmology. Serving on faculty as a Cornea and External Disease specialist, as well as an Assistant Residency Program Director for three years, he supervised residents in intensive hands-on training in the clinic and in the operating room. It was the perfect combination for a physician-scientist and teacher.
”At the University of Virginia, I frequently performed complex corneal and cataract surgeries,” he explains. His caseload included severe traumas, advanced infections, and congenital eye disorders. Given the severe disease state of some of the cornea cases, he even implanted multiple Boston Keratoprosthesis corneal transplants, a part prosthetic/part biologic artificial cornea. “I am so grateful to have had this full range of experiences at a nationally renowned academic medical center.”
Dr. Golen compares the benefits he had at the university to being part of a comprehensive eye care practice. “Much like a university setting, at Magruder Eye Institute we have a distinct advantage of having great collaboration with experienced specialists. To be able to consult with other Ophthalmologists, such as a retina specialist or a glaucoma specialist, on a daily basis is a huge strength for our practice and our patients. It also lends itself to greater continuity of care and physician cooperation for the benefit of our patients. This is further enhanced by our state-of-the-art electronic records system.”
Growing up in Dearborn, Michigan, Dr. Golen found his true passion throughout his school years to be science: especially biology. It was always very important for him to choose a career path where he could help people. It was just a question of how to do it.
“When I was in high school and as an undergraduate,” recalls Dr. Golen, “I was torn between becoming a doctor and a scientist – seriously contemplating a path toward a Ph.D. But what kept pointing me toward medicine instead of research, was the fact I enjoy interacting with people on a daily basis and love the opportunity to make people better.”
Dr. Golen won a full-ride ROTC scholarship to the University of Notre Dame to pursue his bachelor’s degree in biology – which led to another decision point in his life over the nature of his military service. He fulfilled his military obligation as a United States Army Captain, Resident Physician, serving in the Ohio Army Reserve National Guard Medical Corps for over a decade. During his first four years of reserve service, he earned his Doctor of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
His keen interest in the biological sciences has served him well as a cornea specialist. “My favorite course in medical school was neuroscience, which quickly led me to Ophthalmology. The human eye is one of the most complex parts of the body; the visual system is incredibly elegant,” he explains. During his residency rotations, Dr. Golen developed a deep interest in cornea transplantation and refractive surgery. “These procedures can be truly life-changing for our patients,” he notes. After his residency, he completed a one-year Cornea/External Disease/Refractive Surgery Fellowship at the F.I. Proctor Foundation at the University of California, San Francisco.
As an Orlando-based cornea specialist and surgeon, Dr. Golen treats a wide variety of corneal diseases including Fuchs’ Dystrophy and other corneal dystrophies, keratoconus, corneal scars, infectious keratitis (corneal ulcers), dry eye, pterygium, eye surface tumors, corneal calcification, and traumatic injuries. He is also passionate about cataract surgery and glaucoma care and sees a great many patients with these conditions.
“I want to offer my patients all the various treatment tools at our command to meet their needs,” he continues, “whether it’s the latest in state-of-the-art replacement lens options for cataract patients, or a highly technical corneal transplantation procedure. I believe in sharing with my patients the information associated with their eye care issue and its treatment options, so we can make the best decision together.”
A lifelong athlete, Dr. Golen is an avid health and fitness fan, and he recently completed his first triathlon. He also enjoys weight training, water sports, and especially outdoor activities with his wife and daughter, including beach time on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida. He loves traveling with his family and enjoys sampling new foods and cultures.
Dr. Golen sees patients at the Lakeside Surgery Center on North Mills Ave. and three of our office locations: Lake Nona on Sachs Ave, Kissimmee on E. Osceola Parkway, and Orlando on N. Mills Ave.
To schedule an appointment, call (407) 893-8200.