LEWIS R. DAN, MD, eye physician, and surgeon, passed away on August 15, 2019, at the age of 85. He grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and spent his summers working as a lifeguard at the family-owned Sha-Wan-Ga lodge in the Catskill Mountains. Dr. Dan followed in the footsteps of his father, Dr. Julius M. Dan, MD, who was an ophthalmologist in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Dan attended the University of Vermont, both as an undergraduate and for medical school. He was a member of the Phi Sigma Delta fraternity and maintained lifelong friendships with many of his fraternity brothers. It was at the University of Vermont where he met his lifelong sweetheart and wife, Carol.
After medical school, Dr. Dan accepted a residency with The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. He served as a Captain in the US Air Force and as Chief of Ophthalmology at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, AL from 1963-1965. After his military service, he moved his family to Miami, FL where he established his ophthalmology practice and treated patients until he retired on 6/28/2017.
A beloved and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and physician, he opened his first medical office on 79th Street in Miami. He later established an additional office in North Miami Beach where he practiced with Dr. Joseph I. Hoffman, MD. since 6/1/1986.Dr. Dan dedicated over five decades of his life to the noble mission of improving and preserving vision.
An exceptional ophthalmologist and eye surgeon based in South Florida, he selflessly served the community for 54 years. Dr. Dan’s profound skill set, his pioneering surgical techniques, and his unrivaled commitment to patient care saw him perform countless surgeries, helping thousands to see the world in a brighter light. Dr. Dan, a skilled surgeon, earned the title of Professor of Ophthalmology for his work teaching cataract surgery at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute where he assisted with the surgical training of over 350 residents. His community-mindedness was in evident in his teaching work at Bascom Palmer, where he is listed as the surgeon of record for having overseen successful eye surgical procedures on over 5,000 uninsured residents of South Florida. He also volunteered his time during the Mariel Boatlift of 1980 by conducting pro bono eye examinations of the newly arrived, helping welcome them to the United States. Throughout his career, Dr. Dan continued to train the next generation of eye care professionals through his work with 10 Universities in the US and Canada, teaching optometric students how to diagnose eye diseases.
Outside of his passion for staying up to date with the latest ophthalmic medical techniques, one of Dr. Dan’s favorite hobbies was cutting glass to build Tiffany-style lamps for family and friends. He was also an avid golfer and could be found on the golf course most weekends. Spending their summers in the Berkshires for the past 25 years, Dr. Dan and his wife were patrons of the arts and supporters of the summer home of the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, where they enjoyed attending musical concerts during the summers.
His enduring legacy continues to inspire us and his compassion will forever remain etched in the hearts of those he helped. Dr. Dan was not only an extraordinary physician, but also a pillar of our community, and his invaluable contributions to ophthalmology will forever resonate within our practice.