Dr. Drew Dickson, MD


Why did you choose refractive surgery as a specialty?

I initially became interested in ophthalmology after watching a 10-minute cataract surgery dramatically improve a patient’s life. To restore someone’s vision with a short surgery was inspiring. By further sub-specializing in refractive surgery, I not only have the opportunity to help patients with cataracts, but patients with all different types of vision problems, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and near-vision issues. As a comprehensive vision correction surgeon, I can perform seven different vision correction surgeries, which means there is usually a safe and effective way to fix patients’ vision. Patients’ reactions when they can see clearly after a short surgery never gets old for me and makes me love what I do!

Why Omaha? OR How did you end up in Omaha?

My first experience living in Omaha occurred as a college student when I completed a summer internship at UNMC. I later went on to attend UNMC for medical school, and my wife and I fell in love with this city. It’s rare to find a city this size with so many incredible amenities and such nice people. I knew that Omaha would be on my short-list of places I wanted to end up living in after my training, and I couldn’t be happier that I get to call Omaha home now for me and my family.  

Have you had refractive surgery yourself? 

Yes! Dr. Kugler performed my LASIK shortly after I started here at Kugler Vision, and it was a life-changing experience. I get to wake up and see every day without dealing with glasses or contacts, and it’s one of the best decisions I ever made. 

Professional Life

What are some key milestones or achievements in your career? 

A monumental moment for me was being accepted into an ophthalmology residency program at the Storm Eye Institute, which is consistently rated as a top-10 residency program,  Additionally, I had the privilege of becoming one of the first Refractive Surgery Alliance (RSA) fellows in the country This is the only fellowship training that is solely focused on providing comprehensive refractive surgery training led by discussions from world-leaders in their respective subject matter. I was also recently awarded the Young Ophthalmic Leaders Award by AECOS and Cedars Aspens. I was honored to be acknowledged as a young leader in my field. 

How would you describe your approach to your work? 

I am genuinely excited to go to work each day knowing that I can change peoples’ lives through vision correction surgery. I approach each patient as if they were a friend or family member to make the best long-term vision decision for them. I am notoriously meticulous and detail-oriented, so I first and foremost want to make sure that patients are good candidates for vision correction surgery, and then make the best custom plan to achieve their vision goals. 

Are you involved in any professional organizations or community initiatives related to your field? 

Yes, I am involved in several different ophthalmology and refractive surgery organizations as a member and speaker. These include the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS), and the Refractive Surgery Alliance (RSA). I am involved in ongoing research projects at Kugler Vision to help improve our specialty. I also work with the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) to help train ophthalmologists around the world. 

Personal Life

Outside of work, what are your hobbies or interests? 

I enjoy spending my free time with my wife and two young boys. My evenings are usually filled with a combination of playing with my kids outside, watching them play with cars or monster trucks, and often end by watching an episode of Bluey. I am an avid sports fan and always enjoy watching the Huskers play, particularly football. I am actively involved with church activities throughout the week. I am also a foodie and enjoy both eating at new restaurants and cooking. 

Any fun facts? 

I have performed mission-work on four different continents. One of my favorite mission trips involved going village-to village down the Amazon River to put on free clinics for the villagers. While there I went hunting at night for Caiman (think smaller alligators) to help feed a village. It was an unforgettable experience!

Drew Dickson, MD


July 2022- Present: Kugler Vision

  • Cataract and Refractive Surgeon


Feb. 2022- Sep. 2022: Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

  • Physician CEO- Executive Education Program

July 2021- June 2022: Kugler Vision

  • Cataract and Refractive Surgery Fellowship

July 2018-June 2021: Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Storm Eye Institute

  • Ophthalmology Residency

July 2017-June 2018: University of South Dakota

  • Internal Medicine Preliminary Year

Aug. 2013-May 2017:   University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Medicine

  • Doctor of Medicine

Aug. 2009-May 2013: Liberty University

  • B.S., Biology: Pre-Med, Summa Cum Laude


  • AECOS and Cedars Aspens Young Ophthalmic Leaders Award
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society
  • Tuition Scholarship Awardee, UNMC
  • Pre-Med Honors Society President, Liberty University
  • Honors Program Member/Graduate, Liberty University


State of Nebraska Medical License


  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • Refractive Surgery Alliance
  • Nebraska Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons
  • Nebraska Medical Association


  • American Board of Ophthalmology
  • Alcon FS200
  • Alcon EX500
  • Zeiss Visumax Flap and SMILE
  • LENSAR Femtosecond Laser
  • Rx Sight Light-Adjustable Lens
  • STAAR Surgical Evo ICL


Dickson D, Conde TP, Berdahl James, Osmundson G, Sudhagoni R PhD, Bender C, Thompson V, Berdahl John.  Comparison of a novel sublingual sedation troche with midazolam, ketamine, and ondansetron to intravenous sedation and the effects on vital signs. Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery: April 15, 2020 – Volume Publish Ahead of Print – Issue – doi: 10.1097/j.jcrs.0000000000000211

  • Served as Primary Investigator/Author

Gouvea L, Dickson D, Waring IV GO, Rocha KM. Combined Intracorneal Ring Segments and Cornea Collagen Crosslinking. World Journal of Ophthalmology & Vision Research. 1(3): 2018.

  • Participated in manuscript writing and editing

Dickson D, Fouzdar-Jain S, MacDonald C, Song H, Agraz D, Morgan L, Suh D. Comparison study of fundoscopic exam of pediatric patients using the D-EYE method and conventional indirect ophthalmoscopic methods. Open Journal of Ophthalmology, 2017; 7, 145-152

  • Served as the Primary Investigator

Rhoades WR, Dickson D, Nguyen QD, Do DV. Management of macular edema due to central retinal vein occlusion: the role of Aflibercept. Taiwan Journal of Ophthalmology, 2017; 7:70-76.

  • Participated in manuscript writing and editing

Dickson D, Agarwal A, Sadiq MA, Hassan M, High R, Nguyen QD, Sepah YJ. Assessment of vitreous haze using ultra-wide field retinal imaging. Journal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infection. 2016; 6:35; DOI 10.1186/s12348-016-0105-0.

  • Served as the Primary Investigator/Author

Welch RJ, Dickson D, Do DV. “Laser Focal Treatment.” Encyclopedia of Ophthalmology. 2014. Print. DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-35951-4_1119-1

  • Participated in article writing and editing


Kiser K, Dickson D, Kugler L. “Safety Profile of a Posterior Chamber Phakic IOL”. CRST Nov/Dec 2023 Issue. https://crstoday.com/articles/nov-dec-2023/safety-profile-of-a-posterior-chamber-phakic-iol#

Dickson D, Pagono M, Mueller B, Kugler L. “Lost in Translation: The Power of Precision in Refractive Surgery Medical Terminology”. Bookmarked October 2023. https://youngmdconnect.com/articles/2023-oct/lost-in-translation-the-power-of-precision-in-refractive-surgery-medical-terminology

Dickson D, Kugler L. “Physically Disabled Patients: How to Set Yourself Up For Success”. CRST August 2023. https://crstoday.com/articles/2023-aug/physically-disabled-patients#

Kugler L, Dickson D. “The EVO Collamer Lens Transends Challenges of Earlier ICLs”. Ophthalmology 360. 2022. Retrieved from https://ophthalmology360.com/refractive-surgerylasik/the-evo-collamer-lens-transends-challenges-of-earlier-icls/.


Advanced IOL Options”

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology 2023 Learning Lounge, San Francisco CA, November 4, 2023.

“Refractive Surgery For All: Incorporating the 7 refractive procedures into your practice”

“2023 NAEPS Meeting; Omaha, NE, October 7, 2023.

“HCP Virtual Classroom BCSC Chapter 13: Refractive Surgery”

  • Himalayan Cataract Project Resident Lecture Series, January 5, 2023.

“Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome”

  • 2022 NAEPS Meeting; Omaha, NE. November 4, 2022.

“Refractive Surgery Overview & Role of NIL in Ophthalmology”.

  • Kettering Health Ophthalmology Residency Lecture Series, June 9, 2022

“Enhancement Rate Following ICL Surgery”

  • 2022 ASCRS Annual Meeting; Washington D.C. April 25, 2022

“Outcomes of Resident Performed LASIK and PRK”

  • 2021 Kiawah Eye Meeting; Kiawah Island, SC. June 3, 2021

“Comparison of a novel sub-lingual sedation troche with Midazolam, Ketamine, and Ondansetron to intravenous sedation and the effects on vital signs”

  • 2019 Kiawah Eye Meeting; Kiawah Island, SC. May 30, 2019

“Comparison of a novel sub-lingual sedation troche with Midazolam, Ketamine, and Ondansetron to intravenous sedation and the effects on vital signs”

  • 2019 ASCRS Annual Meeting; San Diego, CA. May 5, 2019

Comparison Study of Fundoscopic Exam of Pediatric Patients Using the D-EYE Method and Conventional Indirect Ophthalmoscopic Methods”

  • 2017 Midwest Pediatric Specialty Symposium: Pediatric Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat; Omaha, NE. March 24, 2017

Assessment of Vitreous Haze using Ultra-Wide Field Retinal Imaging”

  • 2015 ARVO Annual Meeting; Denver, CO. May 3, 2015

“Compliance with the American Academy of Ophthalmology guidelines for routine eye examinations in the SHARING Clinic patient population”

  • 2015 Society of Student Run Free Clinics Annual Meeting; Atlanta, GA, February 7, 2015


March 2014- May 2017: Eye Bank Technician- Lions Eye Bank of Nebraska, UNMC

  • Performed in situ and laboratory cornea extractions for corneal transplants
  • Performed approximately 150 corneal extractions

June 2003- Aug. 2013: Co-Owner/Manager- Dickson Auto Detailing, Clear Lake, IA

  • Oversaw quality control and customer satisfaction

Fall 2011-May 2013: Physician’s Scribe- Lynchburg General Hospital; Lynchburg, VA

  • Documented the medical notes and orders in the EMR for physicians


July 2018-June 2021 Storm Sight Provider/Resident Coordinator- MUSC

  • Provide eyecare to patients at this free medical clinic

Sep. 2013- May 2017: UNMC SHARING Clinic Student Provider-UNMC Clinics

  • Provided medical care for underserved population

September 2016: Ghana Medical Service Trip- Kumasi, Ghana

  • Assisted with eye examinations, surgeries, and screenings during this 1-month elective medical school rotation

Spring 2014-2016: Bike For Sight Volunteer- Omaha, Nebraska

  • Advertised, registered participants, and recruited additional volunteers for this fundraiser for cataract surgeries in underserved countries

June 2016: Bridge To Care Refugee Health Fair- Omaha, Nebraska

  • Performed vision screenings for local refugees

June 2014 & 2016: Ponca Tribe Eye Screening- UNMC Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

  • Performed vision screenings local Native American Tribe

March 2014 & 2015: Jamaica Medical Mission Trip- Falmouth, Trelawny, Jamaica

  • Served as a trip leader in 2015 and trip member in 2014 for 8-day medical mission trips

June 2012-2014, 2017:  Mexico Mission Trip Leader- Juarez, Mexico

  • Participated in four separate 12-day trips

March 2011: Brazil Medical Mission Trip- Amazonas, Brazil

  • Assisted in running multiple free medical clinics in rural villages along the Amazon River


July 2015-May 2017: UNMC Ophthalmology Interest Group Student Board

  • Served as Co-President beginning May 2016

Sep. 2013- May 2017: UNMC SHARING Student Board Co-President/Student Provider- UNMC

  • Served as Co-President for this student-run free medical clinic from April 2014- March 2015

June 2014-June 2015: VISION Clinic Administrator- UNMC

  • Administrated and provided at this monthly student-run free ophthalmology clinic

Fall 2011-May 2013: Pre-Med Honors Society President- Liberty University

  • Served as President for 1.5 years and secretary for 1 semester for this 90-member society