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Thomas Samuelson, M.D.

“I find treating patients with vision threatening eye disease very rewarding. Helping patients with serious vision problems is a passion that I have. I’ve never once considered it work – it’s just a great way to spend a day, interacting with patients and trying to help them see better.”


Thomas W. Samuelson, a founding partner and attending surgeon of Minnesota Eye Consultants, is a board-certified ophthalmologist who specializes in the treatment of glaucoma, cataract, and refractive surgery. Dr. Samuelson completed his medical degree at the University of Minnesota and his residency training at the University of South Florida where he served as chief resident. He received his sub-specialty training at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia.

An adjunct professor of ophthalmology at the University of Minnesota and past chairman of the medical staff at the Phillips Eye Institute in Minneapolis, Dr. Samuelson has an active role in the education of medical students, residents, fellows, and practicing physicians. He is a faculty member at Hennepin County Medical Center, a major teaching hospital for the University of Minnesota residency program. On a national level, Dr. Samuelson is the current president of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. He is the recipient of the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Junior and Senior Achievement Awards honoring contributions made to the Academy’s educational programs. In 2018, Dr. Samuelson was awarded the AAO Lifetime Achievement Award. He also received the “Secretariate Award” for contributions to the AAO annual meeting. Dr. Samuelson has served as an examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology and has been named as America’s Top Doctors each year since 2002. He is a past-president of the International Society of Spaeth Fellows – Wills Eye Hospital’s Glaucoma Fellows Society.

Dr. Samuelson served on the executive committee of the American Glaucoma Society for nearly a decade. He has also served as the secretariat for the AAO annual meeting serving as chairman of the Skills Transfer Committee. As a member of the Basic Clinical Science Course Committee for the AAO, Dr. Samuelson helped to write the textbooks most studied by residents within the field of ophthalmology. He is also a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Eye Study Club and the International Intraocular Lens Implant Club. Dr. Samuelson is the glaucoma section editor for Ocular Surgery News, the most widely circulated ophthalmology news publication worldwide. Dr. Samuelson also serves as an editorial board member and scientific reviewer for several ophthalmology journals.

Dr. Samuelson’s research interests include MIGS surgical procedures involving the Schlemm Canal as well as the management of coincident cataract and glaucoma. He has also performed research on the safety of LASIK in patients with other ocular disorders, especially glaucoma. A frequent lecturer nationally and internationally on ocular surgery, he has published numerous scientific manuscripts and textbook chapters on ophthalmic surgery. To view a list of Dr. Samuelson’s lectures and publications, click here.

On a personal note, Dr. Samuelson enjoys music, theater, golf, ice hockey, and running.