The American Academy of Ophthalmology proudly honors George B. Bartley, MD, as the recipient of the Laureate Recognition Award in 2020. This honor is awarded to individuals who have made exceptional scientific and leadership contributions to the betterment of eye care, leading to the prevention of blindness and restoration of sight worldwide.
Dr. Bartley’s contributions to the science, leadership, and stewardship of the profession have advanced the standards and quality of care for the benefit of patients and colleagues. Dr. Bartley received his medical degree from Ohio State University and completed his residency in ophthalmology at the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education. Through the tutelage of Robert Waller, MD, Dr. Bartley’s interest and facility in orbit and oculoplastics led him to a fellowship with John Bullock, MD.
Dr. Bartley returned to the staff of the Mayo Clinic where he served as the chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Mayo Clinic-Rochester and as CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida. During his tenure as CEO, he led the construction and opening of the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla. while championing a culture of academic inquiry and achievement, which significantly advanced the academic mission of Mayo Clinic in Florida. He is currently the Louis J. and Evelyn Krueger Professor of Ophthalmology at the Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Bartley’s passion for promulgating the science of ophthalmology is evident in his many extra-clinical roles. He has served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Ophthalmology, Archives of Ophthalmology and as editor-in-chief of Ophthalmology® and Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. His more than 300 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, commentaries and reviews have advanced the science of ophthalmology and have provided clear guidance to a generation of ophthalmologists and leaders, underscoring his ability to distill the issues at hand and advocate for the profession on behalf of colleagues and patients.
Br. Bartley’s demeanor and wisdom have made him a widely approached advisor to leading organizations within the profession. He has served on the boards of trustees of the Mayo Clinic and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the boards of directors of the Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology, American Board of Ophthalmology, the American Board of Medical Specialties and the Council of the American Ophthalmological Society. Through his humility and mentorship, he has recruited successors of the highest caliber to continue the achievement of excellence in the organizations that have been privileged to enjoy his leadership.
In his current role as chief executive officer of the American Board of Ophthalmology, Dr. Bartley recently led the successful effort to administer the first virtual oral medical specialty certification examination by an American Board of Medical Specialties board, assisting our young colleagues on their professional journey and advancing the continued safety of the public in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Bartley is honored for his broad contributions to the science and professionalism of ophthalmology. It is with great pleasure that the Academy welcomes Dr. George B. Bartley as the 2020 Academy laureate.