The Family Legacy at Cincinnati Eye Institute

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“He actually educates me quite often. I call him if I see something involving the retina that I’m unsure of; it’s great to be able to use his expertise.”

James says that, although he did give in to the siren call of ophthalmology, his choice of subspecialty has been all his own. “The retina is fascinating to me,” he says. “It can be a diagnostic mystery and it’s fascinating to see how retinal surgery has changed so rapidly.” He adds that the human eye overall is fascinating since, for such a small operating area, there are 12 different subspecialties, and physicians simply can’t specialize in all those areas at once.

Although James grew up holding cameras for his father, he’s now able to help him in new ways. Through the diagnostic mysteries that fascinate James so much, he has been able to aid his father’s patients through his expertise. Since the pair often operate just rooms apart from one another, communication is something they’ve kept up daily since James started at Cincinnati Eye Institute.

“We’ve had many surgeries we’ve performed together,” says Robert. “There are instances where, in surgery, I take the cataract out of the patient’s eye, and then Jamey repairs the retina.”

One additional factor that James admires is Robert’s compassion for his patients. Though Robert insists this trait was inherited from his own father, Morris, it is apparent that patient care has always been and always will be a high priority for the Osher ophthalmologists. “I had a teacher in medical school who said that ‘you’re never going to be able to cure every disease, but you can comfort every patient.’ I saw that attitude in my father, I try to embody it myself, and Jamey certainly does as well,” says Robert.

He adds that Morris would go out of his way for any patient, including making house calls for those who perhaps couldn’t make it in to the office. “I worked with my father for 18 years, and the manner in which he cared and respected every patient left an impression on me,” says Robert. He then emphasizes that communication with patients is key in explaining and reassuring each through the surgical process. Families appreciate being kept informed about their loved ones, so Robert says he works hard to invest the time to understand each family’s concerns. “The work my father does for his patients is amazing,” says James. “I’ve heard patients say they had the best time in surgery, and they’re smiling through their recovery.”

“My desire to go into ophthalmology came directly from my father. He was a very compassionate and caring man. He used to take me on rounds with him when I was young, and I never wanted to do anything else.” – Dr Robert Osher

James says he thinks this compassion and expertise is embodied not just in his father, but throughout the whole of Cincinnati Eye Institute. What attracted him to work there is what often draws so many other physicians from across the country: the unique blending of professional and medical expertise with a tightly knit, family-like atmosphere. “Cincinnati Eye Institute is a very unique place in this country,” says James. “There are more than 40 ophthalmologists here in many different subspecialties, as well as many terrific optometrists, and the quality of care is extraordinarily high. The surgeons are technically skilled and the technology is second to none.” He adds that, when he started at Cincinnati Eye Institute back in July, he was replacing a retiring physician and thus had less time to adapt to his new position than he may have under other circumstances. However, he was able to hit the ground running with help from other retinal specialists, who consistently contacted him and checked in to make sure he wasn’t overwhelmed while seeing patients from dawn to dusk.

Robert also appreciates Cincinnati Eye Institute’s welcoming atmosphere, but the main source of his joy is his son, who has exceeded all expectations in his field. “My father started Cincinnati Eye Institute, and I built it up,” he says. “But Jamey has the potential to go so far beyond what I’ve accomplished.”


Cincinnati Eye Institute’s Main Office is located at 1945 CEI Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45242. You can reach them at 513.984.5133 or visit their website at