Who is Dr. Ming Wang?

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by Mike Sparks

I first met Dr. Ming Wang at Smyrna Rotary Club meeting back in 2002. Needless to say, I was impressed with his personal story.

Dr. Ming Wang is a man who wears many hats – humanitarian, eye surgeon, musician, ballroom dancer, Christian believer, freedom fighter, businessman, community activist and more.

A few years ago I invited Dr. Wang to visit Parkway Baptist Church where my wife and I attend and speak to the congregation. After his speech we watched the movie, God’s Not Dead. The film became a surprise success at the box office. In its first weekend of release, the film earned $9.2 million played at 780 theaters, causing Entertainment Weekly’s Adam Markovitz to refer to it as “the biggest surprise of the weekend”.

In the movie “God’s not dead”, the role Martin Yip (played by Paul Kwo) was inspired by the real life story of Dr. Ming Wang, Harvard & MIT (MD, magna cum laude); PhD (laser physics), of Wang Vision 3D Cataract and LASIK Center, Nashville, TN.

Dr. Ming Wang, an eye surgeon specializing in 3-D LASIK surgery has one of the coolest stories. The personal hardships he endured gave him the

conviction that he has to day to appreciate

 the freedoms that we have here in America, that many of us take for granted.

I’ve attended many of Dr. Wang’s lectures, one title, “Life Is What You Make It,” which focuses primarily on his life growing up in communist China and the struggles he went through that shaped how he lived his life.

“Who appreciates sight the most? Those who used to be blind,…Who appreciates freedom the most? Those who used to not have freedom”

~ Dr. Ming Wang.

Wang’s life growing up during the Cultural Revolution in China he realized how important education was to him. The Chinese Revolution lasted from 1966 until 1976 and was responsible for 20 million youth being deported to the poorest areas of the country and condemned to a lifetime of hard labor if they tried to continue their education.

Dr. Wang strongly believes that “Education was everything. Growing up in America, we take freedom for granted,” said Dr. Wang.

As a way to avoid the hard labor camp’s fate, Wang and others realized they could learn an artistic talent and join the People’s Liberation Army. That is when Wang first picked up the erhu, a Chinese violin, leading to his eventual immigration to the United States where he studied laser physics.

Wang said he “learned these things; not for love of music but for sheer need to survive.”

According to his website Dr. Wang has performed more than 55,000 LASIK and cataract procedures, including surgeries on more than 4,000 doctors. A Harvard University and MIT grad, Wang is the founding director of the Wang Vision 3-D Cataract and LASIK center.

Dr. Wang has extensive experience in laser treatments for the entire range of vision disorders: nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia . His area of expertise includes scientific research and clinical care. In addition to editing textbooks on corneal imaging technology as well as irregular astigmatism, he has published scientific papers in prestigious journals such as Nature (360:606;1992), contributed to several books on refractive surgery and corneal disease, and lectures at major international conferences annually.

He is the chief scientific officer of EyeVU , a joint venture biotech company co-owned by Vanderbilt University and Dr. Wang. He developed the world’s first amniotic contact lens for which he received a US patent. As the principle investigator of an NIH grant, Dr. Wang demonstrated success of this technology in reducing corneal scar formation following trauma. It may reduce the incidence of corneal related blindness worldwide. In addition to the amniotic contact lens, he has developed another novel corneal wound healing technology, PEMF treatment, for non-healing corneal ulcers (EyeMag).

In addition to graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School in 1991, Dr. Wang has received numerous awards including the “Lamport Prize for the Best Original Paper in Biomedical Research” from Harvard in 1991, the Lawrence Research Award from the Association of Research for Vision and Ophthalmology in 1995, the Heed Fellowship in 1996, the outstanding young faculty award from Vanderbilt University in 1998, and Fight for Sight Research Foundation grant award in 1998.

Dr. Wang is an internationally recognized teacher in LASIK vision correction. Since 1997, he has taught several major international courses in LASIK and has personally certified LASIK surgeons worldwide. He remains the doctor’s choice when physicians choose LASIK for vision correction. He has successfully performed thousands of LASIK procedures and was a “VISX Star Surgeon”. He served as a panel consultant on the US FDA Ophthalmic Device Panel which oversees the evaluation and approval for refractive technologies for US, and was a primary reviewer for LASIK at the historical FDA hearing for LASIK in July of 1999.

As the Director of the renowned Wang Vision Institute, Dr. Wang has built a state-of-the-art laser facility for refractive surgery. With the latest technology, Dr. Wang and his team provide a wide range of laser treatments for myopia, astigmatism and hyperopia including photo refractive keratectomy (PRK), laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and conductive keratoplasty (CK).

As a fellowship-trained corneal specialist, Dr. Wang is frequently consulted for the management of anterior segment complications by doctors from around the world, and patients who have had complications from eye surgery often visit for help.