Robert F. Melendez, MD, MBA was born in New Mexico with over 10 generations from Placitas, NM. He grew up in California and met his wife while visiting family in New Mexico and decided to be with her and attended the University of New Mexico (UNM) where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and conducted extensive research where he was accepted to the prestigious Howard Hughes Research Program and published a paper that was featured on the cover of the journal, Developmental Biology.
After graduation, he attended graduate school where he earned a Master’s degree in Biochemistry where he pursued his passion for teaching and research. He attended UNM School of Medicine where he received the Khatali award given to 5 medical students who excelled in academics, research, and/or community service.
He was fortunate enough to train at the Cleveland Clinic during medical school conducting vision research on cataract surgery where he completed the project at his medical school and presented it and won first place for the best oral presentation at the Western Research Conference in Carmel, CA in 2000.
He was accepted to his first choice ophthalmology residency at The University of Texas Health Sciences Center where he continued his cataract research and presented several times at scientific meetings.
He was chosen as the Chief Resident in his senior year and was voted resident eye surgeon of the year. He also started the first Ophthalmology Chief Resident Leadership Conference for chief residents across the country.
Immediately after training, he became a member of AAO’s Young Ophthalmologist Committee for 6 years and then served as Chair for 3 years where he played an integral part in mentoring young eye surgeons in the areas of business and leadership development.
He also served as Editor-in-Chief of the ONE Network, an online education site for ophthalmologists across the globe. He then later became the Secretary for Online Education for AAO where he oversaw the ONE Network and EyeWiki.org. He also created the 1-minute video series for AAO designed to help busy surgeons learn key surgical techniques.
He also proposed and helped developed the first ophthalmic education app created by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He also returned to graduate school to learn more about the business of medicine by earning an MBA degree from the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico.
During the first 15 years of practice, Dr. Melendez learned how to perform LASIK surgery in 2005 and became very adept and efficient at performing high volume cataract surgery where he performed numerous types of cataracts and became one of the highest volume surgeons in the United States and began incorporating the newest types of lens implants to help patients see at their very best. He has performed over 15,000 cataract and refractive surgeries and values the relationships he developed and continues to foster with each patient.
Dr. Melendez started a foundation to help find a cure for retina diseases, in particular, Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) in which his mother was diagnosed with when he was a young boy.
He always wanted to find a cure for her eye disease and as a result, he started a foundation called The Juliette RP Vision Foundation (JulietteFoundation.org) in 2008 named after his mother where they provide scholarships to visually-impaired college students and grants to young scientists conducting retina research, most recently to The Johns Hopkins University and The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
To continue this legacy of helping others see better, Dr. Melendez started The Juliette Eye Institute who’s mission statement is Patients First. He has been told that he has a great bedside manner where he cares for his patients and desires that each person has a personalized care plan for both their eye condition and eye surgery.
He specializes in cataract and refractive surgeries to help patients see their best. He wanted to create an eye practice where he could spend more time with the patient where he can better understand them and their vision needs. Dr. Melendez started The Juliette Eye Institute to offer world-class care in New Mexico.
6401 Holly Avenue NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113 USA
Telephone – 505-235-4781
Email – Dr.Melendez@JulietteEye.com