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Department Ophthalmology
Primary Location Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Type of Doctor Adults Only
Languages English
Surgeon Yes
Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Primary Location

Cleveland Clinic Main Campus


Additional Locations

Specialties & Treatments

Treatment & Services

  • Eye Examinations
  • Laser Vision Correction
  • LASIK (Laser in situ Keratomileusis)
  • Ophthalmology
  • Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) Eye Surgery
  • Refractive Surgery
View all 6 Treatment & Services +

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Allergic Conjunctivitis
  • Blepharitis
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Cornea Ulcer
  • Corneal Abrasion
  • Corneal Disease
  • Corneal Scar
  • Diabetic Eye
  • Dry Eyes
  • Herpetic Eye Disease
  • Ocular Allergies
  • Ocular Health
  • Rosacea (Adult Acne)
View all 13 Specialties +


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About Steven Wilson, MD

Steven E. Wilson, MD, received a bachelor’s degree in biology from California State University Fullerton and a master’s degree in molecular biology and biochemistry (Irvine) and an MD (San Diego) from the University of California.

His postgraduate training included an internship in internal medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and residency in ophthalmology at the Mayo Clinic. In addition, Wilson has held faculty positions at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, Cleveland Clinic, and the University of Washington in Seattle, where he was Chair of Ophthalmology and Grace E Hill Professor in Ophthalmology and Biological Structure until 2003. He is currently Staff Refractive and Corneal Surgeon and Director of Corneal Research at the Cole Eye Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Wilson has received numerous awards from the medical community, including being listed in "The Best Doctors of America" numerous times. He was an RPB William and Mary Greve International Research Scholar and received the Manpower Award from the Research to Prevent Blindness, a RPB Physician-Scientist Award, the Senior Honor Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and he was elected to the honorary American Ophthalmological Society. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Ophthalmology. Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today named him as one of the 50 most influential doctors in cataract and refractive surgery in May 2006. He received the Lans Distinguished Lecturer Award from the International Society of Refractive Surgery-American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2006. He received the Richard Lindstrom Career Award from CLAO at ASCRS in 2014. He received the 2020 Barraquer Award and Lecture from the International Society of Refractive Surgery-American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Wilson has edited many medical journals and papers, held national and international committee responsibilities under the auspices of organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the Eye Bank Association of America, and Fight for Sight. He is a former trustee and vice president for the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) the largest vision research organization in the world and served on the executive board for ISRS-AAO and is the program chairman for ISRS-AAO for 2006.

Wilson holds various medical patents; is a highly trained and skilled scientist and surgeon; has been awarded numerous research grants in the field of ophthalmology and vision research; and he has authored and presented more than 250 papers, medical books and book chapters. His research focuses on gene delivery to human cells using viral vectors, wound healing, and cytokines and receptors in eye tissues and breast tissues. His laboratory is funded by the National Eye Institute and the Department of Defense (DOD). He is also a leading expert in Dry Eye and Ocular Surface and helped design and implement the phase III clinical trial for topical cyclosporine for dry eye.

Dr. Wilson was selected as a finalist for the Benjamin Franklin Award for 2004 in the category Best New Voice in Fiction for his first international thriller Winter in Kandahar. His second international thriller, Ascent from Darkness, was released September 1, 2007 and was an honoree at the New York Book Festival and Hollywood Book Festival in 2007. The Benghazi Affair, the third book of The Stone Waverly Trilogy, was released in 2018 and was the Benjamin Franklin Award Audio Book of the Year in Fiction for 2019, as well as a finalist for the Eric Hoeffer Book of the Year award and a B.R.A.G. gold medal finalist for 2019. Dr. Wilson's fourth Novel "The Ghosts of Anatolia: An Epic Journey to Forgiveness: was published in 2010 and won the Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award in Multicultural Fiction in 2010 and wasthe Runner-up Award for general fiction in the Hollywood Book Festival in 2011. His memoir "The Making, Breaking and Renewal of a Surgeon-Scientist: A Personal Perspective of the Physician Crisis in America" was published in 2019. All Dr. Wilson's books are available exclusively on Amazon.com and Audible.com.

Education & Professional Highlights

Education & Professional Highlights


Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - LSU Medical Center- University Hospital
Cornea & External Disease

Residency - Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN

Internship - Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Internal Medicine
Los Angeles, CA

Medical Education - University of California-San Diego School of Medicine
La Jolla, CA

Graduate School - University of California, Irvine
Molecular biology and biochemistry
Irvine, CA

Undergraduate - California State University at Fullerton

Professional Highlights

  • NIH, NEI EY10056 RO1 grant Corneal Epithelial Growth Factors and Receptors, 1993 to 2021
  • DOD grant VR180066 Corneal basement membranes and injury-related scarring.
  • Physician-scientist Award, 2007, Research to Prevent Blindness, New York, NY
  • Lans Distinguished Lecturer Award, International Society of Refractive Surgery-American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2006
  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Elected to Board of Trustees Cornea Section Representative (2001-2006), Vice-President (2005-2006)
  • Richard Lindstrom Career Award from CLAO at ASCRS in 2014.
  • Best Doctors in America (2003-2019)
  • Cleveland Magazine Best Doctors (2005-2019)
  • Barraquer Award and Lecture (2020) International Society of Refractive Surgery-American Academy of Ophthalmology


  • Ophthalmology

Specialty Interests

Laser Refractive Procedures (LASIK/PRK), Refractive Surgery

Awards & Honors

  • Research to Prevent Blindness William and Mary Greve International Research Scholar (July 1, 1992– February 1, 1994)
  • Manpower Award, Research to Prevent Blindness (July 1, 1994-June 30, 1995)
  • Honor Award, American Academy of Ophthalmology (1995)
  • Everett-Kinsey Lecturer for 1998 CLAO Meeting
  • Chancellor’s Award in Neuroscience & Eye Research, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine, New Orleans, La. (September 2000)
  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Elected to Board of Trustees Cornea Section Representative (2001-2006), Vice-President (2005-2006)
  • Irvine Memorial Lecture. Doheny Eye Institute Annual Meeting, May, 2002, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology, Executive Board, ISRS-AAO, 2001  to 2006
  • Elected to American Ophthalmological Society, 2002
  • Senior Honor Award, American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2004
  • America’s Top Doctors, 2004-2016, Castle Connolly Guides, top 1% of medical specialists in America
  • Best Doctors in America (2003-2016)
  • 50 Most Influential Doctors, Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today, May, 2006
  • Lans Distinguished Lecturer Award, International Society of Refractive Surgery-American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2006
  • Distinguished Service Award, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 2007
  • Physician-scientist Award, 2007, Research to Prevent Blindness, New York, NY
  • Horizons Grant Award, 2007
  • NIH, NEI EY10056 RO1 grant Corneal Epithelial Growth Factors and Receptors, 1993 to 2021
  • President's Career Recognition Award International Society of Refractive Surgery 2009
  • Barraquer Award and Lecture (2020) International Society of Refractive Surgery-American Academy of Ophthalmology


  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Ophthalmological Society
  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
  • International Society for Refractive Surgery
  • International Society for Eye Research
Research & Publications

Research & Publications

See publications for Steven Wilson, MD.

(Disclaimer: This search is powered by PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed is a third-party website with no affiliation with Cleveland Clinic.)

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 11/1/2023, Dr. Wilson has reported no financial relationship with industry that is applicable to this listing. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers' discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Patient Satisfaction Reviews

57 Patient Satisfaction Reviews

The Patient Satisfaction Rating is an average of all responses to the care provider related questions shown below from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Patients that are treated in outpatient or hospital environments may receive different surveys, and the volume of responses will vary by question.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

The comments are submitted by patients and reflect their views and opinions. The comments are not endorsed by and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cleveland Clinic.

Overall Star Ratings
4.6 out of 5
Explains 4.6
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.6
Patient Rating of Doctor 4.6

8 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Jun 20, 2024

Dr. Wilson is an amazing professional

Reviewed on Jun 13, 2024

Dr Wilson barely acknowledged me. I had concerns about the cataracts and he didn't give me any elaboration about them. Brief explanation of percentage of deterioration I needed before Medicare would pay. Just too abrupt and disinterested. He did ask if I had any questions but I just wanted to leave by then. I felt disheartened.

Reviewed on Jun 6, 2024

I am thankful for the courtesy of the Dr and the staff members who help me in my road to recovery. It has been a tremendous help to me during these weeks of treatment and I am so grateful for all that you have done for me. Thank you so much.

Reviewed on Jun 3, 2024

Dr. Wilson is one of the best doctors at the Cleveland Clinic. Our entire family has seen him for 25 years, and we have always been well-cared for. Competency , honesty and kindness are his hallmarks. Thank you!

Reviewed on Apr 4, 2024

Dr. Wilson was very thorough in his explanation of how and when to use the eye drops and what had to be accomplished to alleviate my condition.

Reviewed on Sep 21, 2023

Dr. Julian Perry is an excellent doctor

Reviewed on Sep 18, 2023

Nothing bad to say! Every time I see my doctor, the gentleman at the reception desk is very courteous.

Reviewed on Jul 13, 2023

Thank you very much for an opportunity to be treated by Dr. Wilson.

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