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Outstanding Female Leader in Ophthalmology | Jan/Feb '17

Outstanding Female Leader in Ophthalmology: Kathryn M. Hatch, MD

Kathryn M. Hatch, MD

Kathryn M. Hatch, MD

Dr. Hatch is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and Site Director, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Waltham.

Please share with us your background.

I was born and raised in the Boston area. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a physician. I attended Middlebury College and obtained my BA as a biochemistry major with a minor in Spanish.

I received my medical degree from the University of Vermont Medical School. I then completed my ophthalmology residency at New York University/Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, followed by a cornea and refractive surgery fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI).

In 2008, I became an associate at Talamo Laser Eye Consultants in Waltham, Massachusetts. I was drawn to this unique practice, as its sole owner at the time, Jonathan Talamo, MD, fostered an academic environment, placing emphasis on publishing relevant clinical research, and prioritized involvement in cutting-edge technologies and innovation. I became the corneal transplant surgeon for the practice and established a refractive and cataract surgery practice.

In 2012, I became a partner of the practice, which was renamed Talamo Hatch Laser Eye Consultants. During this time, I became the first corneal surgeon in New England to perform Intralase-enabled deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK). In 2012, our practice was one of the first practices in New England to regularly perform laser cataract surgery, which is currently an integral part of my practice, in addition to the most up-to-date corneal transplantation procedures.

In 2014, Talamo Hatch Laser Eye Consultants became a satellite office of MEEI and is currently named Massachusetts Eye and Ear Waltham. In 2015, I become the Site Director at MEEI Waltham, where I oversee the operations of this satellite location. I am also part of the Cornea and Refractive Service and serve as an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School.

What is the focus of your current research?

Clinical research has been an important part of my career. I have focused my research efforts on advanced techniques in cataract surgery, including laser cataract surgery and intraoperative aberrometry. These innovative technologies are revolutionizing the way we approach cataract surgery, and continued research in this area is warranted.

I have been an investigator of corneal collagen crosslinking (CXL) for asymmetric corneas. My research plan for the coming years entails continued investigation in this area of corneal strengthening, particularly CXL. I hope to contribute to this area through ongoing investigation.

What has your experience been collaborating with industry?

I have enjoyed working as a consultant and speaker in the areas of amniotic membrane, dry eye disease, intraoperative aberrometry, and laser cataract surgery. Regionally, I serve on the Ophthalmic Services Committee for the New England Ophthalmologic Society (NEOS) and am the Director of Payer Services for MEEI. Additionally, I have been a speaker at local, regional, national, and international meetings.

In your opinion, how is the role of women in ophthalmology evolving?

There are many outstanding leaders, both male and female, in ophthalmology. Ophthalmology residency programs all around the country, previously male dominated, are now training more equal numbers of men and women. It is evolving into an equal playing field. We are seeing greater numbers of women speakers at meetings and in collaboration with industry. Additionally, we are seeing more female leaders collaborating together, both on the local and national level. It is no doubt an exciting time to be in this career.

What, if any, hurdles do you feel women in health care still face?

I believe that work-family life balance, while fulfilling, can also be challenging. Balancing family while excelling in your career does bring significant pressure and requires a drive and love for what you do. Motherhood and surgeon-hood requires commitment and perseverance as well as good time management life skills that can’t be learned in a textbook!

What advice can you offer to young female ophthalmologists who are still in training or just beginning their careers?

Go after your goals and dreams—they are yours to be taken! Pave your way and make it yours. Collaborate with colleagues, get and stay involved.

Can you propose a unique or creative idea that may help women in ophthalmic practices?

Hire additional help outside the workplace (definitely someone to help with cleaning and, if needed, cooking) so that you can spend time doing the work you enjoy and are trained to do. You may also need to hire an agent or lawyer when bargaining a buy-in or work contract. Also, make sure that when you are not working, you make time to enjoy and focus your attention on the important people in your life.


Hatch KH, Woodcock EC, Talamo JH. Toric IOL selection and positioning with and without intraoperative aberrometry. J Refract Surg. 2015;31(4):237-242.

Hatch KM, Schultz T, Talamo JH, Dick HB. Femtosecond laser-assisted compared with standard cataract surgery for removal of advanced cataracts. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2015;41(9):1833-1838.

Hatch KM, Talamo JH. Laser-assisted cataract surgery: benefits and barriers. Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2014;25(1):54-61.

Hatch KM. Cultivating leadership. MillennialEYE. June 2014.

Moreira H, Hatch KM, Greenberg P. Benchmarking outcomes in resident-performed cataract surgery with toric intraocular lenses. Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2013;41(6):624-626.

Talamo JH, Hatch KM, Woodcock EC. Delayed epithelial closure after PRK associated with topical besifloxacin use. Cornea. 2013;32(10):1365-1368.

Hatch KM. Consultation section, corneal surgical problem, consultation #3. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2013;39(10):1620-1621.

Hatch KM. How to attract young patients to laser vision correction. Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today. 2013;13(2):51-52.

Hatch KM, Talamo JH. Controlling inflammation in the perioperative period of cataract and refractive surgery. Advanced Ocular Care. March/April 2012.

Hatch KM, Talamo JH. Excimer basics. Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today Europe. July 2010.

Hatch KM, Talamo JH. Surgical management of cataract and astigmatism. Contemporary Ophthalmology. 2009;8(10):1-8.

Masselam KL, Dana R. The structure and function of the limbal stem cell and the disease states associated with limbal stem cell deficiency. Int Ophthalmol Clin. 2009;49(1):43-52.

Connolly, G, Wladis, G, Masselam, KM, Weinberg, DA. Contralateral orbital melanoma 28 years following enucleation for choroidal melanoma. Orbit. 2007;26(4):291-294.

Landino L, Hasan R, McGraw A, et al. Peroxynitrite oxidation of tubulin sulfhydryls inhibits microtubule polymerization. Arch Biochem Biophy. 2002;398(2):213-220.


• The Cornea Society | 2008 to Present

• Massachusetts Medical Society | 2008 to Present

• American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), Fellow | 2008 to Present

• New England Ophthalmological Society (NEOS)2011 to Present

• Ophthalmic Services Committee | 2014 to Present

• American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) | 2012 to Present

• Ophthalmic Women Leaders (OWL) | 2012 to Present

• American-European Congress of Ophthalmic Surgery (AECOS) | 2014 to Present

• American Society of Progressive Enterprising Surgeons (ASPENS) | 2014 to Present


• Vermont State Woman of the Year, Athletics and Academics (1998)

• Cum Laude, Middlebury College (1998)

• First Prize Honors: Best Scientific Paper, Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists (2005)

• Teaching Award, Brown Ophthalmology Residency (2012)