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Physician HeadShot

Edward C. Lai, MD

Ophthalmology (Board Certified, Primary Specialty)
Languages: Chinese, Spanish
Office Phone: (646) 962-2020
Rated one of New York Magazine's Best Doctors


Edward C. Lai, M.D. is a board certified ophthalmologist and an accomplished ocular surgeon.  He is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medical College and serves as the Director of the Comprehensive Service. He is also an integral member of the Cornea service.  Dr. Lai specializes in laser vision correction (LASIK and PRK), advanced cataract surgery, and general eye disease.  

After receiving his undergraduate degree with honors in Biology from Brown University, Dr. Lai worked with AmeriCorps prior to attending Tufts University School of Medicine for his medical training. He then completed his internship in general surgery and internal medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan and his residency in Ophthalmology at the Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital and New York University.  Following his residency, he performed additional advanced training in Corneal, Cataract, and Laser Vision Correction surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Lai’s research has focused on ocular surface diseases and cataract surgery and he has authored textbook chapters and peer-reviewed articles on these subjects.  He is a gifted educator and has played an integral part in fellow, resident and medical student training. He has been awarded the resident teaching award on two occasions. Dr. Lai has been an invited lecturer at Harvard University’s intensive cataract course, and has also lectured internationally, most recently at the Pan American Ophthalmology Congress and the Asian Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology annual meetings.  Dr. Lai has interest in global health and has volunteered on several cataract surgical missions in Tanzania.

Dr. Lai is a diplomat of the American Board of Ophthalmology and a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons, and is an active member of other professional societies.  He is committed to excellence in the provision of a complete range of ophthalmic service. His practice interests include comprehensive ophthalmology, advanced corneal, cataract, and laser vision correction. Dr. Lai is currently accepting new patients; appointments can be made by calling 646-962-2020.


Area of Expertise

Please contact the doctor's office to verify that your insurance is accepted.

Aetna [HMO, Medicare, PPO]

Aetna [Weill Cornell Employee Plan]


Emblem Select Care


Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield [Blue Priority, EPO, HMO, Mediblue (Senior), Pathway (Exchange), PPO]

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield [Pathway Enhanced]




Oxford Health Plans [Freedom, Liberty, Medicare Advantage]

Oxford Health Plans [Metro/Core/Charter (HMO)]


Rockefeller University - CoreSource

United Empire

UnitedHealthcare [Community Plan, Compass (Exchange), EPO, HMO, Medicare, POS, PPO]



2003 Tufts University School of Medicine

Internship: 2004 St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center

Residency: 2005 George Washington Medical Center

Residency: 2007 New York University Medical Center