Rick D. Isernhagen, MD

Rick D. Isernhagen MD


Undergraduate BS: University of Oklahoma

Medical School MD: University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

Residency: Dean A. McGee Eye Institute, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

Chief Residency: Dean McGee Eye Institute

Fellowship: Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute, Johns Hopkins University and Hospital

"Best Doctors in America" 2003 to present
"America's Top Ophthalmologists" 2007 to present
Commendation, Commonwealth of Kentucky-Department for the Blind 1991
Junior Achievement Award, American Academy of Ophthalmology 2002

Professional Service:
-President, Lexington Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons 1996-1998
-Practicing Ophthalmologist Advisory Committee on Education (POACE)  Retina Section Subcommittee Chairman, American Academy of Ophthalmology  1995-2002
-Practice Parameters Committee, Diabetic Retinopathy Subcommittee Chairman,  Kentucky Health Policy Board 1995-1996
-Advisory Board, Ophthalmology Center of Excellence, Chairman 1994-1995
-Board of Directors Eye Care Providers of Kentucky, Secretary 1993-1998
-Chief, Section of Ophthalmology Humana Hospital, Jewish Hospital, Saint Joseph East Hospital 1990-1999


Meet Rick D. Isernhagen, MD - Eye to Eye Video Interviews

Dr. Isernhagen - "Subspecialty"
Dr. Isernhagen - "Educational Background Isernhagen"
Dr. Isernhagen - "Ocular Histoplasmosis"
Dr. Isernhagen - "Led You to Choose"

What led you to choose Retina Associates?

When I visited, I immediately fell in love with the beauty of Kentucky and found a tremendous opportunity to join a very strong leader in vitreoretinal diseases and surgery, my partner, William Wood, MD. I continue to be fortunate to work with three other very gifted physicians who joined the practice after me, Thomas Stone, MD, John Kitchens, MD and Andrew Moshfeghi, MD.

Why did you choose your subspecialty?

Graduating in the top 5% of my medical school class allowed me to have many options. I chose ophthalmology as a specialty and retina as a subspecialty because of the importance of the gift of vision to patients and the ability to restore it and see such an impact on the patient's life.

What are your interests?

Within medicine, my interests include management of patients with retinal detachment, trauma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), macular holes, macular epiretinal membranes, and ocular histoplasmosis. On the horizon, I see treating retinal diseases, that were previously untreatable, with gene therapy and new medicines. I see the fear of blindness from diabetes eye disease removed. I see more and more elderly patients having driving and reading vision well into their 80's, 90's and further. Very soon I hope to see patients only needing yearly injections for wet AMD rather than monthly injections.

What research are you currently working on?

My research has primarily focused on age-related macular degeneration (AMD).   I am the Principle Investigator (PI) for three studies.  The first is the Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) 2, investigating new vitamin and nutritional therapies for the prevention of severe vision loss in AMD. We are anticipating findings from this study by the summer of 2013 which could change the current recommendations in place for vitamins.  The second is the ForseeHome Study which is evaluating a home vision monitoring device in patients who are at high risk for losing vision from AMD.  This device may possibly detect very early vision changes when they are more effectively treated.  Finally, our office is evaluating patients for possible visual side effects of a new drugs that is being investigated for early treatment of Alzheimer's disease.  In our office, all the partner physicians are active together in clinical research studies.  Along with them, I serve as an investigator in other studies on AMD, diabetic retinopathy, and ocular histoplasmosis.  One of these important studies is the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research (DRCR) network which has many ongoing trials looking at aspects of and new treatments for diabetic retinopathy.  

What do you enjoy outside of medicine?

I enjoy time with my family, playing bridge, playing golf, building and flying remote control model airplanes, and maintaining saltwater reef aquariums.  My wife, Mischelle and I have two children.  Blake is a resident physician in ophthalmology at the Dean A McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma City.  Laura is a psychology and theology major at Hanover College in Indiana. 

Links and information on Dr. Isernhagen

Retina Associates of Kentucky Takes Part in AMD Study