At Florida Eye Specialists, we’re committed to providing quality care from diagnosis to treatment. That’s why we are proud to announce our merger with cataract specialist Dr. Donald A. Barnhorst, M.D., and his team at Barnhorst Eye Associates.
Dr. Barnhorst is known for his deep passion for ophthalmology and his commitment to providing high-quality patient care. We sat down with him to learn more about his background, experience and what it means to join the team at Florida Eye Specialists.
Tell us about your career in eye care and why you founded Barnhorst Eye Associates.
I began my career in eye care in New York before moving to Jacksonville in 1991, as I had family here and loved the area. I established my own refractive surgery practice as a cornea specialist and focused on refractive and corneal surgery.
But after a couple of years, I wanted to delve into other areas of eye care and broaden the services offered at my practice. That’s when I took over Dr. Roger Hook’s practice, which allowed me to explore more traditional ophthalmology and develop long-term relationships with patients as their primary care specialist. I’ve now served the Northeast Florida community for over 25 years and even expanded into Nocatee.
Why did you decide to merge practices with Florida Eye Specialists?
My decision to merge practices stems from my long-standing relationship with Raj, the founder of Florida Eye Specialists. For many years, I have been impressed by the tremendous growth and success of the practice. Florida Eye Specialists is the premier eye care practice in North Florida, and quite possibly in all of Florida.
Bringing my skills and expertise to this esteemed group was an exciting prospect for me, and I am thrilled to have a team of excellent doctors and colleagues to collaborate with, share ideas, and fill in the gaps in my practice areas.
What are you most looking forward to with this partnership?
I look forward to the opportunity to work alongside other exceptional doctors in a robust practice with multiple specialties. Having a team of like-minded physicians who prioritize high-quality care and patient well-being creates a great practice environment. I am eager to serve not only the Jacksonville community but also extend our reach throughout Florida and even into Georgia.
How do you think the partnership will benefit patients?
The partnership is a win-win situation, for not only our patients but also our staff. I now have the opportunity to work alongside fellow cornea specialists and refer my patients to the most suitable specialists for complex glaucoma problems, eyelid issues, and more.
It’s a collaborative environment where the focus is on delivering high-quality care and ensuring the best outcomes for our patients. The partnership also allows our staff to be part of a larger team, opening up new opportunities for growth and giving them greater room for professional advancement.
What do you enjoy most about ophthalmology?
Ophthalmology is a remarkable specialty that gives me the ability to make a significant difference in my patients’ lives. It is truly rewarding to help them maintain or restore their vision. Some patients don’t even realize how much better their sight can be, and it brings me great joy to be a part of that.
What is your approach to patient care?
My approach to patient care is centered around building strong relationships with my patients. I want them to feel heard, reassured, and confident that we will find the best solutions for their eye health. I genuinely enjoy listening to them, understanding their personalities, and addressing their concerns.
I entered the field of medicine with the intention of helping others, not for financial gain. I find fulfillment in knowing that I have made a positive impact on people’s lives. I truly care about my patients and their eye care journey, and I believe that it shines through my interactions with them.
What new advancements or treatments on the horizon are you most looking forward to?
I am particularly excited about the advancements in light-adapting lens implants that can be fine-tuned post-operatively. The ability to adjust the lens after an operation has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach cataract surgery and provide even better patient outcomes.
Any hobbies or special interests you’d like to share?
I am an avid fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars and have been for many years. I’m also fascinated by scuba diving and am fortunate to have my two grown children as my dive buddies. When I have some downtime, I love immersing myself in a good book.
Most of all, I have the joy of being a father to four amazing children, ages 27, 25, 23, and 20. It’s a delightful and fulfilling time in my life, and I cherish the moments spent with my family. I am incredibly excited about this new chapter with Florida Eye Specialists.
It’s a privilege to be part of such a reputable practice, and I am eager to contribute my skills and expertise to further enhance the exceptional care we provide to our patients.