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Meet The Doctors

Our eye doctors in Rapid City are highly trained in a variety of subspecialties such as cataract surgery, corneal disease, diabetic retinopathy, eye muscle surgery, glaucoma, laser vision correction, macular degeneration, ocular inflammation, oculoplastics and pediatric ophthalmology. This comprehensive approach to eye care allows our eye doctors to provide this region exceptional services. 

Click our logo below to watch a short video about the Eye Institute and our Surgeons

 

Prema Abraham, MD

Prema Abraham, MDDr. 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.

 

Monte Dirks, MD

Monte Dirks, MDDr. 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.

 

 

Daniel Hafner, MD

Daniel Hafner, MDDr. 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.

 

 

 

Stephen Khachikian, MD

Stephen Khachikian, MDDr. 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.

 

 

Robert Nixon, MD

Robert Nixon, MDDr. 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.

 

 

Terry Spencer, MD

Terry_Spencer.jpgDr. 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.

 

Michael Chappell, MD

Dr. Michael Chappell, MDDr. Michael Chappell is a board-certified ophthalmologist with subspecialty training in oculofacial plastic surgery. He was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. He earned his undergraduate degree from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, before attending the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for medical school. He then moved to San Francisco, California, where he completed an internal medicine internship at St. Mary’s Medical Center and then an ophthalmology residency at California Pacific Medical Center. Dr. Chappell was then accepted into a two-year oculofacial plastic surgery fellowship sponsored by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. He was inducted into ASOPRS in 2014 and won the Marvin H. Quickert Thesis Award for research performed during his fellowship training

 

Kristin Tarbet, MD

drtarbet.jpgDr. Kristin Tarbet, MD is fellowship trained in Neuro-Ophthalmology, Facial, and Oculoplastic Surgery. She is working with us at the Eye Institute two days monthly, performing consultations and surgeries. Dr. Tarbet has been in both academic and private practice in Seattle, WA, for ten years. Her special interests include eyelid malpositions, reconstruction of Moh’s microsurgical cancer removal, cosmetic blepharoplasty, and ptosis.

 

 

Scott Schirber, OD

schirber.jpgDr. 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.

 

 

 

Ryan Scarborough, OD

drscarborough.jpgDr. Ryan Scarborough returned home to South Dakota after practicing hospital based optometry with the Indian Health Service in Arizona. He grew up on a ranch in western South Dakota and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from South Dakota State University. In between his undergraduate and professional degrees he served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in inner city Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Scarborough received his optometric degree from The Ohio State University and furthered his education with an accredited residency in ocular disease and primary eye care from the Marshall B. Ketchum University. He volunteers his time with the board of directors for the Northern Plains Eye Foundation in addition to providing care at the Community Health Center of the Black Hills. Dr. Scarborough has obtained fellowship status in the American Academy of Optometry and maintains board certification with the American Board of Certified Medical Optometrists.

Jess Moser, OD

Jess Moser, OD Dr. Moser earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and graduated with honors from Black Hills State University.  He went on to complete his doctorate of optometry from the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, Illinois where he received clinical and academic awards. He is a member of Beta Sigma Kappa Honor Society, the American Optometric Society, Volunteer Optometric Services for Humanity, and the South Dakota Optometric Society. Dr. Moser joined the Eye Institute in 2014 to provide primary eye care, ocular health exams, contact lens services, treatment and management of ocular diseases, and post-operative care.