Teaching It Forward

Cincinnati Eye Institute ophthalmologist Michael Hater, M.D., comes from a family of well-known eye care providers.

Photo by Catie Viox


For Michael A. Hater, M.D., a member of Cincinnati Eye Institute since 1998, commitment to ensuring ophthalmic health for all reaches far beyond his practice. When not performing cataract and implant surgery, addressing corneal disorders and external eye diseases, or providing emergency eye care, he is at Holmes Hospital at the University of Cincinnati (UC) voluntarily teaching the next generation of ophthalmologists how to hone their sight-saving surgical skills.

“My time at Holmes Hospital serves several purposes,” says Hater, a native Cincinnatian. “I remember being a resident at Indiana University, and in my residency, I had the advantage of gaining knowledge and skills from the faculty who taught me. I want to ensure our next generation of ophthalmologists is as well trained, or better trained, than I was. The doctors who trained me are retired, so I am teaching the next generation, and they can train the next. It’s about paying it forward.”

Also, Holmes Hospital provides operating room access for the indigent, providing financial resources to cover the cost of surgeries, Hater notes. “I am fortunate to be where I am financially, but I don’t want to forget about helping out people who need it.” Hater says. He also oversees ophthalmology residents performing cataract surgery at the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Hater attended UC and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in biology. He then entered UC’s College of Medicine, where he received his medical degree and completed a year-long internship. After finishing his residency at Indiana University Department of Ophthalmology, he completed a year’s fellowship training in Louisville, Kentucky specializing in cornea, external eye disease and refractive surgery. Hater is also on the medical staff of Bethesda, Good Samaritan St. Francis-St. George, and St. Elizabeth hospitals. He sees patients at the Blue Ash, Maineville and West Side CEI locations.

“I love what I do,” says Hater, whose late father, James, was a well-known and beloved optometrist on the west side for many years. “I remember going to my dad’s office when I was a kid.” He chose ophthalmology over optometry, however, when it came time to pursue a career.

“I am mechanically oriented, and always like fixing things. Home repairs, cars, plumbing, electrical – that’s my mindset. If I couldn’t do eye surgery, I would feel incomplete.”

Proud west siders, Hater and his wife, Lenore (also a UC graduate and a former Kroger pharmacist for many years), have four children – twins Rebecca and Grant, 14; Thomas, 11, and Eva, 9.

When not busy with his family, ophthalmology practice or teaching, Hater enjoys flying his single-engine Cessna out of Lunken Airport, and beekeeping.

CEI is one of the largest ophthalmology practices in the United States with 44 ophthalmologists and 17 optometrists, many of whom are recognized among the top sub-specialists in their field, practicing in 14 locations across the Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana tri-state area. Today, CEI is one of the world’s premier ophthalmic treatment, research and education centers. 


For more information on Cincinnati Eye Institute (CEI), call 513.984.5133 or 1.800.544.5133 or visit www.cincinnatieye.com.