Suzann Pershing

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Suzann Pershing, MD, MS

  • Chief of Ophthalmology for the VA Palo Alto Health Care System


Dr. Pershing is on the ophthalmology faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine and serves as Chief of Ophthalmology for the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, with an academic career blending clinical practice, teaching, research, and administration.

Her research interests focus on analyses of ophthalmic epidemiology and delivery of ophthalmic health care services, as well as improved utilization of evidence-based medicine to determine cost-effectiveness and relative outcomes of ophthalmic treatments. Through this, she aims to provide additional information to policymakers and clinicians in order to optimize treatment choices. She is also interested in health care innovation – technology as well as quality and delivery systems. Dr. Pershing is active in big data initiatives and analysis, including collaborative projects at Stanford and serving on the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) IRIS registry task force and as the AAO representative to the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM).

She graduated from university summa cum laude in 2002, and with high honors from medical school in 2006. During medical school, she was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society, served as chapter president in her final year, and was honored with the President’s Clinical Science Award, Merck Award for Academic Excellence, and American Medical Women’s Association Commendation. She subsequently completed ophthalmology residency at Stanford University, followed by an AHRQ fellowship in Health Care Research and Health Policy through the Center for Health Policy/Primary Care and Outcomes Research. She presently teaches medical students at Stanford and oversees eye care services at the Palo Alto VA Medical Center.

Dr. Pershing also serves on the national board of directors of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society, with focus on resident initiatives, and mentors both medical students and undergraduate students (through the Stanford Immersion in Medicine series and VA clinical internships in ophthalmology). Dr. Pershing has had an interest in teaching since tutoring fellow students in college and medical school. She is currently co-director for the medical student ophthalmology clerkships, Ophth 300A and 301A and works with students on directed ophthalmology research and MedScholars projects.