Know Dr. Karickhoff – Beyond Floaters
Dr. Karickhoff has been responsible for most if not all of the major advances to the field of laser treatment of eye floaters (see Our Contributions page) since its introduction in 1983 by Dr. Franz Fankhouser, Bern, Switzerland (retired). This surgical procedure is based on plasma physics and is at the cutting edge of medicine. This particular web page tells of Dr. Karickhoff’s academic preparation that allowed him to make these contributions. It also tells his past and present life beyond floaters.
Doctor Karickhoff was born in Spencer, West Virginia. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. He was the #1 graduating pre-medical student out of 110 beginning freshmen, and the #1 graduating science student out of 705 in the class. He was presented the “Outstanding Physics Student Award”. He was President of his Freshman, Sophomore, Junior classes, and was President of the Student Body his senior year; was President of the Student Christian Association; and was on the university Debating Team. In 1989 he was chosen Marshall’s Distinguished Alumnus.
He received his M.D. degree from Duke University, graduating in the top fifth of his class while holding a job in Duke Hospital all four years. His internship in Internal Medicine and his Ophthalmology training are also from Duke.
Major John Karickhoff
Awarded Bronze Star
He then joined the U.S. Army Medical Corps for two years as an eye surgeon (rank of Major and receiving the Bronze Star). While in Vietnam, he started a large charity eye surgery clinic. Upon returning to the United States he began private practice of ophthalmology in Falls Church, Virginia. For 25 years he also lectured, consulted in the clinic, and taught eye surgery at Georgetown University Medical Center where he is now Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology. He donated his time and all surgical fees to the university. Georgetown University Medical Center presented him with their Vicennial Teaching Award in 1995. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and served several years on the Medical Advisory Board of the Duke University Eye Center. He is the sponsor of the annual Duke University Ocular Innovation Award.
Doctor Karickhoff is recognized nationally as a surgical innovator, researcher, lecturer, writer of published medical papers (41) and a book, designer of medical devices (7), designer of surgical instruments (6), originator of ophthalmology concepts (11), inventor (2 U.S. Patents), and for clinical firsts (12). He introduced many surgical techniques to the Washington area such as no-stitch cataract surgery and laser disruption of vitreous floaters.
Dr. Karickhoff is perhaps the only ophthalmologist in the world who has completed a 30 year goal of producing through clinical research an innovation or significant contribution related to each of the 14 anatomical structures of the human eye. This website features only the innovations and contributions he made on his 14th and final eye structure, the vitreous. (see Dr. K’s Unique Career page)
The Karickhoffs: Julie, Maggie, Madge, and Dr. Karickhoff.
Doctor Karickhoff is involved in community service through the projects and fund raisers of the Rotary Club of Falls Church, Virginia. The Rotary Clubs of Northern Virginia selected him for their “Service Above Self” award. He is an active member of his church; raises money annually for an organization for the homeless; works each year in the local homeless shelter; and he is the founder of a band that gives free concerts in retirement homes and for charity events.
Floater patients make up 70% of his medical practice. He is also involved professionally in reading, research, designing and inventing, and as a medical book publisher.
His hobbies are being in a music performance group (guitar, ukulele, keyboard, harmonica, and voice), amateur radio (extra class), video production, multi-track audio recording, attending cultural and musical events, public speaking, reading, being a member of the National Press Club, and golf.
Dr. Karickhoff’s wife, Madge, is a former high school English teacher and she holds a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Virginia. They have two daughters. Julie is a graduate of Duke University, has an MBA degree from Georgetown University, lives in Sherman Oaks, California, and does marketing for the major movie studios. Maggie is a graduate of Duke University, has a Master’s Degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Redlands, California. She is a private practice speech therapist in Van Nuys, California.