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David G. Hwang


Cornea and refractive surgery specialist
Blessed and joyful husband and dad

Dr. David Hwang is an ophthalmologist specializing in corneal, cataract and refractive surgery. He has special interests in ocular infectious diseases, corneal endothelial dystrophies and diseases (conditions in which one of the cornea's layers is breaking down), and high-risk corneal transplantation. He is committed to developing innovative techniques and instruments for ophthalmologic surgery.

In research, Hwang's work includes translational endeavors – applying new information from studies to patient care – for corneal endothelial diseases. In particular, he has looked at cellular transplantation and gene therapy approaches to treatment.

A native of Illinois, Hwang obtained both his undergraduate and medical degrees from UCSF, graduating first in his medical school class. After a two-year residency in internal medicine and a three-year residency in ophthalmology, both at UCSF, he completed concurrent fellowships in cornea and refractive surgery and in uveitis at the Doheny Eye Institute.

In 1990, Hwang joined the faculty at UCSF, where he is the Pearl T. Kimura and Samuel J. Kimura Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology. He also serves as co-director of UCSF's cornea and refractive surgery services, and holds a joint appointment as associate of the UCSF Francis I. Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology. He has served as UCSF's medical director of ophthalmology and as medical eye bank director of UCSF's tissue bank.

Hwang has served in leadership and executive roles in a number of professional organizations, including president of the Ocular Microbiology and Immunology Group, and executive secretary of the Max Fine Cornea Society. For the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he chaired a joint task force on the use of vancomycin in ophthalmology. He served on the writing committee for the AAO's Basic and Clinical Science Course's volume on cornea and external eye disease, authoring and editing the section on ocular infectious and external eye disease.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has honored Hwang with awards, including the Senior Achievement Award. He has been named to the Castle Connolly America's Top Doctors list every year since 1996. He has published more than 100 scientific papers and abstracts, and co-authored two texts on cornea and refractive surgery.

A committed educator, Hwang is active in teaching UCSF medical students, residents and fellows. He has received the Kimura Award for Excellence in Teaching from the UCSF Department of Ophthalmology.

Hwang lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, who is also an ophthalmologist, and their three sons.

  • Education

    UCSF, 1984

  • Fellowships

    Doheny Eye Institute, Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery, 1990

  • Board Certifications

    Ophthalmology, American Board of Ophthalmology

  • Academic Title


Medicine is my calling, and I'm privileged to tackle tough challenges, discover and share innovative ideas, and deliver compassionate patient care.

Where I see patients (2)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    543 Ratings
    About our process
    Mar 04, 2023
    Very good service
    Mar 03, 2023
    Superb physician. Long wait to see.
    Feb 22, 2023
    No further comments...all very good staff and providers
    Feb 15, 2023
    Dr. Hwang is not only a superb surgeon but also personable and caring for the patient.
    Feb 15, 2023
    Had to wait almost 2 hours to see Dr Hwang
    Feb 07, 2023
    Dr Hwang is not just an exceptional surgeon he is an exceptional human being. I am grateful to be able to receive guidance and care from this provider.
    Feb 03, 2023
    Dr Hwang is just outstanding brilliant he's the best. I would not trust my eyes to anyone else. He's also so nice and caring. And he leads the whole practice so everyone is that way.
    Jan 18, 2023
    The waiting times are unbearable .
    Jan 15, 2023
    Dr David Hwang is one of my favorite doctors. He is a great listener and communicator. He is the type of doctor that does not beat around the bush per se. He gives it to you straight. He is a genius and very well informed in his field.
    Jan 13, 2023
    Excellent in all respects and Dr. Hwang is the best. Couldn't have asked for a better doctor and team
    Jan 11, 2023
    Dr Hwang is outstanding. Please encourage and support him so he can develop colleagues like him.
    Jan 09, 2023
    Dr. David Hwang is a very caring dedicated and knowledgeable physician.
    Jan 08, 2023
    No one better than Dr. Hwang. He is a brilliant physician/surgeon AND a nice man.
    Dec 23, 2022
    Outstanding care from Dr Hwang.
    Dec 21, 2022
    Very good.
    Dec 18, 2022
    He's not willing to help me but he did send referrals
    Dec 17, 2022
    Dr Hwang is terrific in person but one needs 10-12 months lead time to get in to see him. Some times my appointment will be canceled by his office and then I'm then back to 10-12 months lead time to get into see him. Given how late he runs I budget at least 2.5-3 hours for the appointment. I could never recommend this to someone. (I stay with Dr Hwang as I have seen him for 20 years including my Lasik many years ago.)
    Dec 10, 2022
    Very honored to be able to have consultation with one of the Best Doctors in San Francisco renown eye specialist Dr. David Hwang! He examined my eyes and said I can wait 2-4 years before cataract removal surgery because mine is very mild (whereas my current doctor told me to schedule surgery next month). His expertise and advice made a tremendous difference in my life! I am very grateful!
    Nov 21, 2022
    My visit with Dr. Hwang and his care team was one of THE best eye care experiences I've ever had. I was extremely pleased with all aspects of the visit.
    Nov 17, 2022
    Good attention to concerns
    Nov 05, 2022
    The length of time waiting for the care provider after check-in and preliminary exams was long. It would have been nice if someone had stepped in to let me know care provider was running later than the waiting time board displayed in the check-in area.
    Nov 02, 2022
    Dr Hwang is supreme in every way! I am so fortunate to have been his patient for the last decade and look forward to his extreme skills and intelligence for the next one!
    Oct 29, 2022
    He's a great doctor and human being.
    Oct 15, 2022
    Like talking to a very smart good friend.
    Oct 13, 2022
    Dr. Hwang is extremely polite always interested in my healthauto immune disease and family.
    Oct 12, 2022
    Dr Hwang is very thorough in explaining procedures. He is so kind and courteous . He is a truly compassionate professional !!
    Oct 08, 2022
    The doctor is very professional and knowledgeable but also kind and caring
    Oct 06, 2022
    My service provider is the consummate professional!
    Oct 05, 2022
    Dr. David Hwang is excellent. I feel fortunate to have him as my doctor.
    Sep 29, 2022
    Sep 28, 2022
    Love Dr. Hwang-very knowledgeable and willing to thoroughly discuss issues and concerns
    Sep 27, 2022
    DR HWANG is the BEST! Thank you!
    Sep 12, 2022
    I have always had great care and respect from staff and the doctors
    Sep 10, 2022
    Dr. Hwang listened and answered all of my questions.
    Sep 07, 2022
    I am assuming when you said the provider are talking about the doctor. I understand but I didn't like it He took care 2 another patients who got there later than me because "their case was gonna take care less time than me
    Sep 07, 2022
    Dr. Hwang is a world-class professional - competent credible great listener empathetic clear in status update and instructions. The best I've ever experienced across continents and practices!
    Sep 07, 2022
    Satisfying experience
    Aug 08, 2022
    I have the most respect and confidence in Dr. David Hwang. I am grateful for his care and the gift of restored sight in my right eye. I thank him every day.
    Aug 06, 2022
    Staff is great. Wait time and scheduling problems are off putting
    Aug 05, 2022
    Wasn't seen by the doctor until about 1:45 after the scheduled appointment time. Dr said he was sorry; he was having a "crazy day".
    Aug 03, 2022
    Dr. Hwang listens and explains things in an understandable way.
    Aug 02, 2022
    The provider could not really explain why my vision had deteriorated in my right eye nor did he seem to address it. Rather he wanted to put a high end scleral contact lens in the left eye with which I already see much better saying it would accommodate and take over for my right eye. Not sure he understood me when I said the left eye has already taken over for the right and I cannot ignore the blurriness of the right eye.
    Jul 30, 2022
    2 hours wait for provider but only a few minutes for actual time with provider. Provider in a hurry.
    Jul 16, 2022
    Dr. H is The Bomb.
    Jul 06, 2022
    Very good service
    Jun 10, 2022
    Different instructions for after care that were not clear.
    Jun 05, 2022
    I very confident the doctor knows what he is doing. The commentary is all on the interaction. All the visits are extremely rushed. I don't feel that my questions are being addressed. I feel somewhat dismissed and I leave feeling anxiety because I don't get to my questions. I don't think I'm being unfair because this is a second opinion and the point of the interaction is to answer questions about raised during initial assessment.
    May 27, 2022
    Dr Hwang provided clear instructions. He also answered all my questions.
    May 19, 2022
    He has finished with my treatment.
    May 18, 2022
    I respect the doctor's credentials. He openly boxed me into a category of patients that like to ask questions and rather than answering them said I should have faith. That's fine but it's not a substitute for addressing my questions and concerns which remained unanswered.It was kind of dismissive. There has to be a better balance.
    May 18, 2022
    Dr Hwang is an amazing physician who interacts so positively answers all questions describes all procedures. He's the best doctor I've ever had.
    May 09, 2022
    Excellent as always
    May 07, 2022
    Dr has been well courtes and knowloge every time he atended me as patien.
    Apr 20, 2022
    I had a procedure on my left eye at other hospital. Dr. Hwang repaired and saved my left eye. I will forever grateful to Dr. Hwang and his team.
    Apr 11, 2022
    Dr Hwang is exceptional. I have landed in the hands of a skilled and competent clinician an effective communicator a team leader of an effective clinical team and a kind man who expresses empathy and respect. It makes me know I'm in good hands for an upcoming surgery.
    Apr 11, 2022
    I was told I'd get written instructions after procedure I did not
    Apr 08, 2022
    Thorough clear on point.
    Apr 04, 2022
    Dr. David Hwang is an exceptional doctor with excellent people skills. He was a joy to see about a problem. Everyone else I saw was excellent as well.
    Apr 02, 2022
    Dr David Hwang is a great example of professionalism and UCSF is fortunate to have this surgeon on board. Please relay my gratitude to him.
    Mar 31, 2022
    Dr. Hwang is a very man but he takes time to listen and answer questions.
    Mar 31, 2022
    He was excellent across all measures.
    Mar 30, 2022
    David Hwang is the best doctor ever!!!
    Mar 21, 2022
    The doctor was very straightforward and clear in explaining my condition and recommendations.
    Mar 09, 2022
    There was suppose to be a procedure to be done post op eye surgery but it wasn't done because of the pandemic and I was the one who called the clinic about this to be done but the MD told me is too late. I'm just concerned what will be the impact or problem in the future of not having this procedure. I think it's the clinic responsibility to have contacted me to have this procedure done on time not me calling them about it!
    Mar 04, 2022
    Dr. Hwang was excellent as was Dr. Wong. She was super efficient and I could tell she was really trying to help expedite my care. She listened to my concerns and respected my needs - I really appreciated that greatly and look forward to seeing her next year. Dr. Hwang was wonderful as always. He is so busy but he took time to listen to me and to answer my questions. Great team!
    Feb 24, 2022
    Dr Hwang is the very BEST! Thank you UCSF :)
    Feb 18, 2022
    Jan 22, 2022
    Dr Hwang is the best possible doctor - brilliant leader in the field so caring.
    Jan 16, 2022
    Explained my problem I felt like I had known him a long time not just meeting him. Explained my condition and why he was referring me to other specialists.
    Dec 16, 2021
    Dr. Hwang is always excellent in answering questions and providing explanations I can understand.
    Dec 02, 2021
    Dr Hwang is the best physician I have ever had. I drive 4 hours to UCSF to see him!
    Nov 21, 2021
    Nov 19, 2021
    I have not had a bad experience with Dr. Hwang or his assistants.
    Nov 03, 2021
    Excellent but needs to manage time so patient doesn't wIt hours!! Past schedule.
    Nov 03, 2021
    Dr. Hwang is an amazing person and skillful doctor. I hesitate to recommend him becasue he typically runs 1-2 hours behind schedule. I think the schedule is the issue not Dr. Hwang.
    Oct 28, 2021
    Dr David Hwang has a gift for connection kindness conveying competency and expertise. He is a clear communicator maybe the best explanation yet of use of scribe and his process for dictation and then eye to eye with me to explain his findings recommendations and plan. He also practices the high Art of shared decision making - his expertise and my choices based in that knowledge. I am so very grateful for this referral and to be initiating care with Dr Hwang. Medicine at its best!
    Oct 27, 2021
    He stated the front office would give me the paper work from my visit
    Oct 21, 2021
    Dr. Hwang is very thorough in his explanation of procedures. He mapped out a long-range plan for my treatment and adhered to it. The results were extremely positive.
    Oct 08, 2021
    Very thorough objective and great bedside manners
    Oct 08, 2021
    All GOOD experiences
    Oct 01, 2021
    I ask a lot of clarifying questions and Dr. Hwang is consistently thorough in responding to them.
    Sep 29, 2021
    Dr. Hwang is a work class doctor and surgeon. He is experienced has a reservoir of pattern recognition works at the cutting edge terrific surgeon disciplined approachable great bedside manner patient and warm.
    Sep 11, 2021
    Dr Hwang is the best! I'm so lucky to have found him many years ago!
    Aug 25, 2021
    The follow-up and what his office was to do was absent or too thin or not stated.
    Aug 22, 2021
    Dr. David Hwang I was concerned about my C diff and less very interested in my medications. He told me about the Infectious Disease doctors at UCSF
    Jul 27, 2021
    I am so grateful to be in Dr. Hwang's care. I have my eye sight.
    Jul 07, 2021
    Routine check up and did not have any particular concerns.
    Jun 30, 2021
    My medical provider is the consummate professional; plus kind empathetic humble and gracious!
    Jun 21, 2021
    excellent care
    Jun 16, 2021
    Dr Hwang is exceptional. His ability to provide clear and concise explanations for a complicated disease in an easy to understand way without being condescending or patronizing is remarkable. If he left UCSF I would follow him because he is one of the few physicians whose bedside manner is equal to his expertise in the field. I feel safe in his care because I know not only is he top in his field but he cares about his patients.
    Jun 12, 2021
    Dr. Hwang is not only a brilliant doctor and surgeon but he is exceptionally kind and caring. My mother is having a very difficult time with her eyes since she became ill with shingles in the eye. I referred her to Dr. Hwang and she has a consultation with him this week. I have put my mother in his hands because I trust him.
    Jun 09, 2021
    Doctor was superb in all ways.
    Jun 09, 2021
    Dr. Hwang is the beta doctor ever I trust him completely!
    Jun 09, 2021
    He is very good at what he does. All is doing is monitoring me so not much to talk about not that he has ever asked me if I have any questions or offered to explain.
    Jun 08, 2021
    long wait but good Doctor
    Jun 05, 2021
    Dr. Hwang is very knowledgeable and courteous. Overall an excellent health care provider.
    Jun 04, 2021
    Impressive technology.
    May 21, 2021
    Dr Hwang is what every doctor should be like - brilliant forefront of his field so kind. I come from WY to be his patient. So lucky. His whole team is just outstanding. I just admire him so much. My UCSF trained doctor daughter does too.
    May 13, 2021
    extremely impressed and comfortable with Dr. Hwang
    May 12, 2021
    Dr Hwang is amazing always on top of my case and very informative. So lucky to have him.
    May 08, 2021
    May 03, 2021
    Dr Hwang was awesome- this visit exceeded my expectations