In 1981, Dr. McFarland opened his first clinic in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. In those early days before he had many patients, he could be found on the basketball court across the street shooting hoops with the neighborhood kids. When a patient did happen to walk into the clinic, a staff member would stand outside the front door and yell for the doctor to come off the court. From these humble beginnings, the McFarland practice has expanded over the years to include two surgery centers and additional clinics in Hot Springs, and Little Rock.
When Dr. Mike McFarland opened that first clinic in Pine Bluff, making history wasn’t the goal. But in January 1990, Dr. McFarland was the first eye surgeon ever to perform cataract surgery without using sutures, a technique commonly called “no-stitch” cataract surgery. Today he is widely considered to be one of the nation’s most renowned ophthalmologists. However, the process wasn’t an easy one. At the time, other cataract surgeons across the country claimed that “no-stitch” cataract surgery couldn’t be done; that it was impossible. Some of the nation’s most prestigious cataract surgeons even ran full-page ads in newspapers like the Chicago Tribune telling people to run from “no-stitch” cataract surgery and they predicted that Dr. McFarland would leave a “trail of blindness” from one end of Arkansas to the other. All this criticism didn’t deter Dr. McFarland at all. He pressed on with what he knew was best for the patient. Years later, after many seminars, demonstrations and successful surgeries, he convinced even his greatest opponents. Then cataract surgeons from literally all around the world were making their way to Pine Bluff, Arkansas to watch Dr. McFarland perform his “no-stitch” cataract surgery in the OR. So many doctors came that we had to keep a log in surgery and make appointments for all the doctors who wanted to see him in the OR. Dr. McFarland’s development of “no-stitch” cataract surgery, is felt to be one of the most important milestones in modern ophthalmology and is now the standard technique for cataract surgery around the world.
Since 1994, Dr. McFarland has been selected as one of the “Best Doctors in America” annually and is the only cataract surgeon in Arkansas to be given this honor for 20 consecutive years. He, along with many of our other physicians, have been presented with many impressive awards and recognitions throughout the years. In addition, McFarland Eye Care has been at the forefront of bringing some of the most innovative and proven eye care technologies to the people of Arkansas, including bladeless LASIK, Laser Cataract Surgery, and Dr. Wilkes’ Elevate and Embrace cosmetic procedures. McFarland Eye Care has a history we can all be proud to be a part of! Our greatest asset, though, is you… our team members. Dr. McFarland and any of the outstanding doctors will tell you, it takes our team to deliver personalized, compassionate, and expert care to our patients. All these years and achievements later, and our Mission remains the same… to treat each and every patient like family. That is a Mission that requires our full attention and dedication to every single detail of our practice every single day. To be a part of this team isn’t just about being a part of a long-standing legacy of excellence. We must go beyond that and proactively seek out what’s best for our patients and the future of McFarland’s. We’re counting on you to plug into that Mission and bring you’re a-game every single day!