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Meet Our Doctors
Meet Our Doctors
Our eye doctors in Rapid City are highly trained in a variety of subspecialties such as vitreoretinal disorders including macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, pediatrics, cataract surgery, eye muscle surgery, eye plastic surgery, neuro-ophthalmology, LASIK and other laser vision correction, and ocular inflammation. This comprehensive approach to eye care allows our eye doctors to provide this rural region exceptional services that normally would only be found in major metropolitan areas.
Dr. Abraham received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Stephens College and her medical degree from the University of Arkansas College of Medicine. After receiving her medical degree, she did an internship and residency at the University of Utah School of Medicine and then followed this with a Vitreoretinal Fellowship at Wills Eye Hospital. Dr. Abraham joined the Black Hills Regional Eye Institute in 1995 and has been the acting Medical Director since 2001. Dr. Abraham is a leading physician in retina and provides services that normally would only be found in major metropolitan areas. The Retina Center at the Eye Institute has state-of-the-art equipment including the Spectral Domain OCT, high resolution fundus photography and angiography. Dr. Abraham also participates in numerous clinical research trials related to diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and vein occlusions.
Dr. Dirks received his Bachelor of Science degree in Metallurgy from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He then received his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Services. Following this, he spent some time at Brooke Army Medical Center doing his internship and residency before finishing with his fellowship at the University of Louisville Hospital. He is retired from military service with the Department of Army as a full Colonel having served 20 years as a military surgeon. Dr. Dirks joined the Black Hills Regional Eye Institute in 1999 and is fellowship trained in procedures/glaucoma and participates in numerous clinical research trials related to dry eye and procedures/glaucoma.
Dr. Hafner was one of the founding partners of the Black Hills Regional Eye Institute in 1982. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Boston University and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Once he received his medical degree, he did an internship at the University of Pittsburg and his residency at Boston University Medical Center. Dr. Hafner provides general ophthalmology services and cataract surgery at the Eye Institute, Fort Meade VA Hospital as well as several satellite locations, including many Indian Health Service clinics.
Dr. Khachikian obtained his Bachelor of Science degree and graduated with honors from Siena College in Upstate New York, before pursuing medical school at Albany Medical College. Dr. Khachikian continued his medical career in Albany completing his Ophthalmology Residency and Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery Fellowship. Dr. Khachikian has performed extensive clinical research in the areas of keratoconus, corneal topography and endothelial keratoplasty. Dr. Khachikian specializes in all forms of corneal transplantation and regularly performs refractive and cataract surgery including the use of toric and multifocal intraocular lenses. He also has an interest in repair of traumatic eye injuries and anterior segment repair.
Dr. Nixon obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alberta and then went on to receive his medical degree at the University of Alberta School of Medicine. He followed this with an internship at Holy Cross Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Basic Sciences of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, England; a residency in Family Medicine back at Holy Cross Hospital, and then a residency in ophthalmology at Boston University Hospital. He finished his education with a fellowship in procedures/glaucoma from the University of Iowa and a fellowship in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus from the University of Indiana Medical Center. Dr. Nixon joined the Black Hills Regional Eye Institute in 1985 shortly after it was established in 1983.
Dr. Spencer obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Idaho State University and his medical degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine. Dr. Spencer continued his education by receiving an Ophthalmic Pathology and Intraocular Lens Research Fellowship from the University of Utah Moran Eye Center. He then completed an Internal Medicine Internship from the University of Utah School of Medicine and Affiliated Hospitals and an Ophthalmology Residency from the University of Utah Moran Eye Center. He has special interest in cataract surgery using presbyopia correcting intraocular lenses and in difficult or complicated cataract surgery. He has experience using the IFS Advanced Femtosecond Laser and also has expertise with Phakic Intraocular Lenses. Dr. Spencer joined the Eye Institute in 2010 and has performed thousands of cataract and refractive procedures.
Dr. Schirber was born and raised in South Dakota and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He completed optometry school at Pacific University College of Optometry. After completing his education, Dr. Schirber moved to Minneapolis, where he worked at one of the busiest laser centers in the country. He returned to South Dakota and joined the Black Hills Regional Eye Institute in 2007 to become the Laser Vision Center Director. He has personally had LASIK surgery which serves him well as he educates and helps patients lessen their dependence on glasses and contacts at the Eye Institute. Dr. Schirber also enjoys specialty contact lens fittings for those with keratoconus, corneal transplants and severe dry eye.
Dr. Yu obtained his medical degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine after receiving his B.A. in Microbiology and Biology from the University of Kansas. His Medicine Internship was done at Greater Baltimore Medical Center and his Ophthalmology Residency was done at Doheny Eye Institute. He is a fellowship trained oculoplastics surgeon having completed his fellowship at Khan Eyelid and Facial Plastic Surgery. He joined the Eye Institute in 2013 after practicing in Kansas for six years and performing over 4,000 oculoplastic procedures.
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