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Moran Alumni Profile: A Conversation with John Haines, MD

A Eugene, Oregon-based comprehensive ophthalmologist who has practiced for 40 years, Haines credits his John A. Moran Eye Center mentors for supporting a career founded in compassion and service.

John Haines, MD, examines a patient during an outreach clinic in Myanmar in 2016.
John Haines, MD, examines a patient during an outreach clinic in Myanmar in 2016.

What drew you to ophthalmology?

I chose ophthalmology for its ability to impact so many people in low-resource countries. Growing up in Malaysia, where my parents were stationed as missionaries, I saw the desperate need for basic medical care.

Why did you choose the Moran Eye Center for your residency?

At the time of my residency, 1987-1991, the department was led by Dr. Randall Olson and his dear friend, Dr. Alan Crandall. I chose to train with them because I felt the esprit de corps as soon as I entered the department and because of the significant volume of surgeries residents could perform.

Who or what was your greatest influence during your residency?

Many, if not all, of the faculty were a powerful influence. But uveitis specialist Paul Zimmerman, MD, was particularly so. He had a gentle, compassionate approach to his patients. This was the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, and his clinics were overflowing with frightened young people. He would skillfully navigate their care, giving them hope.

Many of my conversations with patients have been "borrowed" from Paul, Drs. Randy Olson, Alan Crandall, Nick Mamalis, Kathleen Digre, Jane Kivlin, Jane Durcan, and Mike Teske.

How and where have you been involved in global outreach during your career?

The biggest part of my practice, certainly the most fulfilling, has been global outreach. I have participated in or led 35 sight-restoring eye camps in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central and South America. In 2011, my wife, Joy, a registered nurse, helped set up our own foundation, Through it, we have brought much-needed equipment to hospitals in Myanmar and Thailand.