Andrew Williams, MD

  • Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Glaucoma Service

A Conversation With Dr. Williams

Dr. Andrew Williams is a board-certified, fellowship-trained ophthalmologist specializing in the medical and surgical treatment of glaucoma and cataracts. He performs both traditional glaucoma surgery, such as trabeculectomy and glaucoma tube shunts, as well as cutting-edge minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS).

He has a strong research interest in improving healthcare delivery in ophthalmology by focusing on patient education, patient preferences, and system-based changes to broaden delivery of eye care. His work in these areas has been published in journals that include Survey of Ophthalmology, Preventive Medicine, and JAMA Ophthalmology.

Awards & Honors

2009-2011     Norman Williams, Jr. Scholarship, Yale University

2010-2011     Yale Alumni Association of Michigan Fourth Scholarship, Yale University

2012             New England Journal of Medicine Scholar Award, essay contest winner

2013             The Osler Medal, awarded for the best essay on a medical historical topic

2015             Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society

2016             Kareti Endowed Scholarship, Michigan State University

2018             Dorothy Christie Scott Academic Mission Award in Ophthalmology, Eye & Ear Foundation of Pittsburgh

2020             Jay G. Linn Award, given to the graduating resident who has demonstrated the highest quality of teaching and patient care

2021             Research to Prevent Blindness/ American Academy of Ophthalmology Award for Intelligent Research in Sight (IRIS) Registry Research

Education & Training

  • Glaucoma Fellowship, Duke University Eye Center, 2021
  • Ophthalmology Residency, University of Pittsburgh, 2020
  • Medical School, Michigan State University, 2016
  • Undergraduate, Yale University, 2011

Representative Publications

  1. Williams AM, Muir KW. Management of hypotony-related maculopathy after combined phacoemulsification and trabeculectomy: January consultation #4. Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery 2021; 47:133-134. doi: 10.1097/01.j.jcrs.0000732292.31244.31
  2. Williams AM, Waxman EL, Shazly TA. A woman with bilateral visual field defects. JAMA Ophthalmology 2020; 138(12):1312-1313. PMID: 33034618.
  3. Kalra G,* Williams AM,* Commiskey PW, Bowers EMR, Schempf T,  Sahel J-A, Waxman EL, Fu R. Incorporating video visits into ophthalmology practice: a retrospective analysis and patient survey to assess initial experiences and patient acceptability at an academic eye center. Ophthalmology and Therapy 2020; 9:549-562. PMID: 32535837.
  4. Williams AM, Kalra G, Commiskey PW, Bowers EMR, Rudolph BR, Pitcher M, Dansingani KK, Jhanji V, Nischal K, Sahel J-A, Waxman EL, Fu R. Ophthalmology practice during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic: the University of Pittsburgh experience in promoting clinic safety and embracing video visits. Ophthalmology and Therapy 2020; 9:1-9. PMID: 32378179.
  5. Williams AM,* Botsford B,* Mortensen P, Park D, Waxman EL. Delivering mobile eye care to underserved communities while providing training in ophthalmology to medical students: experience of the Guerrilla Eye Service. Clinical Ophthalmology 2019; 13:337-346. PMID: 30858683.
  6. Williams AM, Amarasekera S, Swogger J. Topiramate-induced angle closure. Ophthalmology Glaucoma 2018; 1(3):166. PMID: 32672649.
  7. Williams AM and Muir KW. Awareness and attitudes toward corneal donation: challenges and opportunities. Clinical Ophthalmology 2018; 12,1049-1059. PMID: 29922034.
  8. Williams AM, Liu PJ, Muir KW, Waxman EL. Behavioral economics and diabetic eye exams. Preventive Medicine 2018; 112,76-87. PMID: 29626555.
  9. Williams AM, Huang W, Muir KW, Stinnett S, Stone JS, Rosdahl JA. Identifying risk factors for blindness from primary open-angle glaucoma by race: a case-control study. Clinical Ophthalmology 2018; 12,377-383. PMID: 29503525.
  10. Davies I, Williams AM, Muir KW. Aids for eye drop administration. Survey of Ophthalmology 2017; 62(3),332-345. PMID: 28011246.
  11. Williams AM, Stamer WD, Allingham RR. Increasing the availability and quality of donor eyes for research. JAMA Ophthalmology 2016; 134(4),351-352. PMID: 26768017.
  12. Williams AM, Muir KW, Rosdahl JA. Readability of patient education materials in ophthalmology: a single-institution study and systematic review. BMC Ophthalmology 2016; 16(133). PMID: 27487960.
  13. Featured in EyeWorld Magazine of ASCRS:
  14. Williams AM, Perkumas KM, Perry I, Wen JC, Keeling J, Tramber M, Liton PB, Stamer WD. Successful implementation of a program for increasing donor eyes for research: the Duke-Miracles in Sight Program. Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2016; 32(3),145-149. PMID: 26982653.
  15. Williams AM, Allingham RR, Stamer WD, Muir KW. Eye care professionals’ perspectives on eye donation and an eye donation registry for research: a single-institution, cross-sectional study. Current Eye Research 2016; 41(6),867-71. PMID: 26287578.
  16. LeBlanc TW, Bartell-Hesson A, Williams AM, Feudtner C, Holmes-Rovner M, Stern DT, Williamson L, Ubel PA. Patient understanding of medical jargon: a survey study of U.S. medical students. Patient Education and Counseling 2014; 95(2),238-242. PMID: 24525222.
  17. Williams AM, Allingham RR, Beckwith HS, Liu PJ, Santiago-Turla C, Muir KW. Patient and family attitudes about an eye donation registry for research. Current Eye Research 2013; 38(9),945-951. PMID: 23767667.


Book Chapters

  1. Williams AM, Muir KW. “Pigmentary Glaucoma.” In: Ophthalmology. Eds. Yanoff & Duker. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders. Forthcoming.
  1. Williams AM. “Cataract Surgery in Angle Closure.” In: The Duke Manual of Glaucoma Surgery. Ed. Gupta D. 1st Ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer. Forthcoming.
  1. Williams AM. “Laser Iridoplasty.” In: The Duke Manual of Glaucoma Surgery. Ed. Gupta D. 1st Ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer. Forthcoming.
  1. Williams AM, Rosdahl JA. “Optical Coherence Tomography of the Optic Nerve.” In: Optical Coherence Tomography in Glaucoma. Ed. Rosdahl JA. 1st ed. New York: Thieme. Forthcoming.

Research Interests

Healthy Vision Lab

Andrew Williams’ research program aims to improve vision health by understanding and addressing barriers to care. This Healthy Vision Lab brings together epidemiology, big data analysis, and health services research to address important public health issues in ophthalmology, such as follow up for chronic eye disease and social determinants of vision health.

He is also leading a project to engage directly with patients who are at high risk of becoming lost to follow up. Patient navigators are healthcare workers or laypersons who help patients with barriers to care and provide coordination and guidance in the health system. Patient navigators have been used extensively to help patients manage chronic diseases, and they may be a valuable resource for glaucoma patients who miss scheduled appointments. He recently received funding from the American Glaucoma Society to launch a pilot project to assess the feasibility of a patient navigator to contact no-show glaucoma patients. This project will be augmented with expertise from Public Health faculty and the Department’s own Patient Champion, who is an expert at providing social work resources to our patients. The results of this feasibility study may inform a future randomized trial and cost analysis to assess the impact and sustainability of patient navigation to help glaucoma patients maintain regular follow up.

The group also has projects underway to assess barriers to vision care in the community and to screen for social determinants of health. We recently surveyed attendees of a free vision screening event about barriers to eye clinic attendance, and these results will deepen our understanding of the needs in our community. Additionally, we are exploring the feasibility of implementing a screening questionnaire for social determinants of health in the electronic health record. Screening questions would help to identify patients’ needs and to connect them with necessary resources. Furthermore, data collection on social factors could also allow for analysis between social determinants and clinical outcomes of eye disease, as these social factors may play an important, and yet under-examined, role in modeling the clinical disease course.