Ophthalmology professor passes away

James William Doyle, M.D., PhD.

James William Doyle, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of ophthalmology at UF’s College of Medicine and former medical director of the Eye Clinic at Shands at UF, died Wednesday (Sept. 24), at Haven Hospice in Gainesville after a long illness. He was 53.

“He was an outstanding educator and surgeon who was well-respected and loved by all the residents he taught,” said William Driebe, M.D., chairman of the UF College of Medicine department of ophthalmology. “Our hearts are heavy for this loss not only because Bill was such an important member of our department, but also because his passing came sooner than we expected.”

Doyle, who joined the UF faculty in 1992, first came to Gainesville and the College of Medicine as a graduate student, earning his doctorate in pharmacology in 1982. He went on to earn his medical degree at UF in 1987 and, after an internship at a hospital in Alabama, returned to complete his ophthalmology residency and a fellowship specializing in glaucoma.

From 1995 to 2004, Doyle served as medical director of the UF Eye Clinic at Shands. In 2004 he was named director of the department of ophthalmology’s clinical research program. During his 16 years at UF, he also worked as a staff ophthalmologist at the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and spent extra hours serving on UF committees.

Doyle received numerous honors for his work, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Career Achievement Award in 2000. He also received a UF College of Medicine Faculty of the Year honor in 1999.

But perhaps Doyle’s most lasting legacy at UF lies with the students, residents and technicians he trained. Doyle was committed to education and helped students and residents learn and grow in whatever way he could, Driebe said.

“He was truly an example of a willing servant, putting the needs of others above his own,” Driebe said. “He was well-loved by his patients.”

There will be a visitation for Dr. Doyle from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 28), followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m. at the Milam Funeral Home, 311 S. Main St., in Gainesville.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the UF College of Medicine department of ophthalmology in support of resident education.