Dr. John Berdahl – Ophthalmologist Surgeon

Meet Dr. John Berdahl

Practicing in Sioux Falls, SD is our board-certified ophthalmologist, John Berdahl, MD. He is widely regarded as one of the leading international cataract surgeons. He is one of the very few surgeons in the United States who is also fellowship trained in cornea, glaucoma, and refractive surgery. Dr. Berdahl has already performed more than 35,000 eye surgeries around the globe. His published work has primarily focused on the fundamental causes of Glaucoma, Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery, and Astigmatism Management, during and after cataract surgery.

He has been involved in numerous FDA monitored clinical trials on some of the most exciting technologies in ophthalmology. He also founded Equinox, which is developing the first non-surgical, non-pharmacologic way to lower eye pressure for glaucoma treatment. He co-invented the MKO melt, which provides sedation during cataract surgery without the use of an IV. Additionally, he created astigmatismfix.com which helps thousands of surgeons per month fix residual astigmatism after cataract surgery. Finally, in an effort to improve access to care, he co-founded ExpertOpinion.MD which provides online opinions to patients from top doctors around the world.

Although Dr. Berdahl has many accomplishments, his primary driver is the trust that people place in him, particularly meeting his patients in their moments of vulnerability and putting their needs first. His commitment to the underserved is demonstrated by his leadership in EyeCare America, as well as in the Mission Vision program at Vance Thompson Vision, where he performs dozens of free surgeries every year. Dr. Berdahl also continues to serve the impoverished on mission trips world-wide.

His CV can be accessed here:

View CV

Education & Training

  • High School - Hills-Beaver Creek High School, Hills, MN
  • College - Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD (Major - Physics; Minors - Chemistry and Biology)
  • Medical School - Mayo Medical School, Rochester, MN
  • Internship - Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Residency - Duke University, Durham, NC
  • Fellowship - Minnesota Eye Consultants, Minneapolis, MN

Selected Honors & Awards

In addition to over 45 peer-reviewed articles, over 35 book chapters, hundreds of presentations at national and international meetings and participation in 37 FDA clinical trials, some of Dr. Berdahl's notable accomplishments are listed below:

  • 2018 Top 100 Most Influential People in Ophthalmology Worldwide – The Ophthalmologist
  • 2018 Teacher of the Year – Sanford School of Medicine – Transitional Year Residents
  • 2018 Speaker of the Day – Royal Hawaiian Eye Meeting
  • 2017 #3 Ophthalmologist under 50 Worldwide – The Ophthalmologist
  • 2016 One of 100 Entrepreneurs invited to The US President’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit – Stanford University
  • 2016 NASA/NSBRI Grant – Safety of Pressure Manipulation around Eye
  • 2016 ASCRS Innovators Lecture
  • 2015 Member of the Vision for Mars Team NASA/NSBRI
  • 2015 Best of Best Papers ASCRS 2015 ASCRS Sclerally Fixated Akreos Lens
  • 2015 Top 40 Ophthalmologists under 40, The Ophthalmologist, World Wide Award
  • 2015 Top 40 Business People under 40, Dakota Business News, Midwest Award
  • 2013 American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award
  • 2013 #1 Young Outstanding Physician South Dakota State Medical Association
  • 2011 Horizon Award (Most Accomplished Young Alumnus) Augustana College
  • 2010 Vanguard Ophthalmology Society Founding Member & President
  • 2008 Claes Dohlman Award (Most Outstanding Cornea Fellow), National Award – Harvard University
  • 2008 Robert Machemer Research Award, Duke University
  • 2008 Resident Teacher of the Year, Duke University
  • 2008 Edward Isbey III, Resident of the Year Award, Duke University
  • 2007 Ophthalmology Times Resident Writer’s Award First Place, Ophthalmology Times

Skills & Expertise

At Vance Thompson Vision, Dr. Berdahl is exceptionally skilled at diagnosing and deciphering a proper treatment for varying stages of glaucoma, corneal diseases, and cataracts. He is also a meticulous refractive surgeon. Should surgery be recommended, Dr. Berdahl is equipped to employ the most innovative and tested techniques available to effectively treat most diseases of the anterior segment (front part of the eye). 

Hobbies & Personal Interests

Dr. Berdahl currently resides in Sioux Falls, SD where he remains a leading ophthalmologist at our premier eye care center, Vance Thompson Vision. Beyond the practice, Dr. Berdahl is a devoted husband to wife Tamme and father to son Tommy and daughter Anabel. As a family, their interests range from outdoor activities such as camping, scuba diving, astronomy, and athletics to playing the guitar, cooking, and community involvement. Ever-passionate about remaining up-to-date on modern advancements to the eye care industry, Dr. Berdahl is an avid reader and writer, and enjoys doing both during his free time.

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