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James D. Palmer, MD

James D. Palmer, MD, Northern California Retina Vitreous Associates

Education & Appointments

  • Undergraduate School
    Brown University, Providence, RI
  • Medical School
    Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA
  • Ophthalmology Residency
    Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
  • Retina Fellowship
    Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA


Dr. Palmer grew up in the Mid-West except for a formative four year period during elementary school in the Bay Area which accounts for his affinity to California. He completed his undergraduate education at Brown University and then attended Stanford University for medical school. Dr. Palmer's ophthalmology career began with his residency at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at University of California Los Angeles. He served as chief resident at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Palmer returned to the East coast to complete his training with a vitreo-retinal fellowship at Harvard's Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. The long Boston winters during this period convinced him that returning to California was a good idea, and he joined Northern California Retina Vitreous Associates in 1998.

Dr. Palmer is Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He is an active member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Society of Retina Specialists. He has served as the Chair for the Ophthalmology Section of Peninsula Hospital and is a member of Stanford's volunteer clinical faculty teaching the residents at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

Clinical research is an important part of Dr. Palmer's practice and he has participated in over thirty clinical trials serving as a primary investigator of eight trials. Dr. Palmer's clinical interests cover all aspects of vitreoretinal disease including: age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vascular occlusions, retinal detachments, macular holes, and complications of cataract surgery. He believes the best care occurs when there is a collaborative effort between the physician and patient.

In his spare time, Dr. Palmer enjoys attending his sons' many athletic events in baseball, basketball and football. He also enjoys travel, running, reading, and skiing.

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