December 2018


ASCRS member spotlight: Emily Graves, MD

Denise Monasterio ASCRS Marketing and Communications Manager

Emily Graves, MD

ASCRS is, at its core, a member-led organization. Much of the education, information, and other offerings are developed by anterior segment specialists for anterior segment specialists. The success of the organization is highly impacted by the continued dedication and volunteerism from the individuals who serve as educators.
Every month, we feature one of these member volunteers. We introduce individuals who have contributed to the society’s outstanding education and initiatives, helping members strengthen their skills and sharpen their expertise, and provide better care to patients.
This month’s spotlight member is Emily Graves, MD. Dr. Graves has done an enormous amount of international volunteer work throughout her ophthalmic career, and through that work, she soon realized that there was a large need right in her own community. Dr. Graves and her co-director Brian Fowler, MD, decided to bring the mission trip approach to Memphis, Tennessee. “Instead of doing individual surgeries throughout the year, we wanted to attempt something larger,” Dr. Graves said. “Our goal was to complete 50 surgeries in 1 day using donated supplies like we do for the mission trips. We also wanted to see if we could recruit volunteers to donate their time to complete the surgeries.” Through the dedicated work of Dr. Graves and her colleagues, the generosity of corporate sponsors, and the ASCRS Foundation’s Operation Sight program, the first annual Ivan Marais Cataract-a-Thon emerged.
“The ASCRS Foundation and Operation Sight make it possible to take care of those patients who otherwise would have no access to the surgical care they need,” Dr. Graves said. “Blindness is more than just lack of vision. Someone who is blind can lose their independence, lose their job, and would have to rely on friends and family to take care of them. Cataract surgery for these people restores more than just vision, and partners like the ASCRS Foundation help make that happen.”
When asked about the most rewarding part of providing charitable cataract surgery, Dr. Graves said, “I am always blown away by the generosity of the volunteers, many of whom take vacation days to participate in our Cataract-a-Thon events. It is almost as if people are looking for a way to give back and they just needed someone to ask. There are many opportunities for those of us who have the privilege to live in the United States to give back.”
Dr. Graves’ advice to other ophthalmologists who are interested in volunteering through Operation Sight is: “Don’t hesitate. Get involved. Operation Sight helps change lives.”
Dr. Graves is an ophthalmologist at the Duncan Eye Center in Memphis, Tennessee. She received her medical degree from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winton-Salem, North Carolina. She completed an internship at Methodist University Hospital and her residency at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Department of Ophthalmology at the Hamilton Eye Institute. After her residency, Dr. Graves completed a fellowship in cataract and refractive surgery in Nashville, Tennessee, where she received extensive training in LASIK, PRK, and premium cataract surgery.
Interested in becoming a volunteer with ASCRS? Visit For more information on the ASCRS Foundation and Operation Sight, visit
Not a member? Visit for full information.

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ASCRS member spotlight: Emily Graves, MD ASCRS member spotlight: Emily Graves, MD
Ophthalmology News - EyeWorld Magazine
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