Retina Consultants Medical Group: The Fastest Growing Practice in RCA

Retina Consultants Medical Group (RCMG) has emerged as the fastest-growing practice in the field of retinal care and research within the Retina Consultants of America (RCA) network. With a rich history dating back to 1975, RCMG has established itself as one of the premier retinal subspecialty groups in the country, serving the Northern Central Valley with unparalleled expertise and compassion. The practice's commitment to cutting-edge treatments and unwavering dedication to patient care have propelled its remarkable expansion.

A key driving force behind RCMG's rapid growth has been its collaboration with RCA. Through this partnership, RCMG has gained access to vital resources, including capital, research support, and managerial expertise. Dr. Joel Pearlman, also known to many in RCA as the "Billy Crystal of Retina," acknowledges the significant role played by RCA in RCMG's success.

“We have been quite fortunate that numerous stars aligned over Northern California. The population in the valley has grown by about 1.5% and the prevalence of diabetes remains around 9-13%. Our relationship with RCA has been one of the main catalysts of growth. They have provided capital as well as expert research and managerial support. The officers and administrators they have assembled are truly first class. Our excellent and highly-trained staff help us in our daily fight against blindness,” said Dr. Pearlman.

Dr. Pearlman also highlights the seamless integration of administrative support, which allows the physicians to focus on what they do best – delivering world-class medical and surgical care to their patients.

Another contributing factor to RCMG's remarkable growth is the steady influx of new physicians. In 2023 alone, the practice is welcoming five talented retina specialists including Dr. Kin Yee (started in March 2023), Dr. Eliot Dow (September 2023), Dr. Meera Ramakrishnan (September 2023), Dr. Maryam Ghiassi (September 2023), and Dr. Natalie Huang (September 2023), with a sixth physician, Dr. Matt O’Sullivan, joining in 2024. These experts, joining the current roster of dedicated physicians, will bring fresh perspectives and ideas to further enhance the practice's capabilities.

“We have doubled the size of three of our offices and added research capacity and personnel. I am totally stoked about the entrance of our six new associates who will no doubt bring new ideas and new energy to the practice. The growth in our research department and the clinics will afford them numerous opportunities to shine in the world of retina,” said Dr. Pearlman.

With the continuous expansion of its clinical research teams and the addition of dual clinic space in three locations, RCMG is at the forefront of advancing retinal care. Dr. Pearlman highlights some of the advancements implemented by RCMG, such as the deployment of widefield imaging and angiography across all their offices.

“I am particularly proud of JIRK – ‘Joel’s Internal Reading Center’ – though most of the credit really belongs to Drs. Yee, Tsai, and Chang who actually do the work, providing rapid and expert interpretations of retinal images for potential study patients,” said Dr. Pearlman.

Dr. Tony Tsai, a Retina Specialist and Ocular Oncologist at RCMG, also emphasizes the importance of meaningful collaboration as they continue to adapt to the simultaneous onboarding of five new specialists and the growth for research.

“Our recent acceleration in growth has now required us to ‘walk and chew bubble gum’ at the same time,” said Dr. Tsai. “We are adjusting to expanding multiple clinic locations and opening multiple offices in rapid succession as well as onboarding five new specialists in one year. This requires much more teamwork and coordination throughout our corporate team as we hire clinic and business office staff to accommodate our new capacity. It is an exciting time.”

The expansion also has incredible benefits for research in retina.

“I think one of the biggest success stories of our ongoing expansion is the rapid growth and increasing reach of our clinical trials division. Under the direction of our clinical trials manager, Dr. Rashin Sedighi, PhD, MS, RN, CCRC, we have enjoyed a strong partnership with RCA Research. Together we have expanded recruitment in clinical trials, increased our clinical trials capacity several fold, and broadened our reach by opening clinical trial locations at our most peripheral offices. This is a success that we expect to bear fruit for all of retina as new treatments and technologies move forward out of trials to meet the needs of all retina patients,” said Dr. Tsai.

“I think there is always uncertainty when a group decides to go big. However, most of us, including RCA, have been bullish on retina from the beginning. We believe that with the right experts in the right seats, we can largely stamp out blindness in our communities and save vision in our future patients – some of whom might just be us!” said Dr. Pearlman.

The growth and success of Retina Consultants Medical Group are a testament to the vision and dedication of its physicians, staff, and partners. Through their unwavering commitment to advancing retinal care, RCMG is transforming the lives of countless patients and paving the
way for a brighter future in the fight against blindness.