In his Medical College of Georgia practice Dr. Riffle provides for a wide spectrum of eye care extending from the need for glasses and care of dry eyes to care for glaucoma and diabetic retinal disease.
Dr. John E. Riffle is the Chief of the Department of Ophthalmology at the co-located Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Riffle graduated from the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia in 1964. He then completed a rotating medical internship at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Following completion of his internship, he entered the Army Medical Corps where he initially performed duty as a General Medical Officer and Aviation Medical Officer. During this time period he spent a 13 month tour of duty in the Republic of Korea including an assignment with the 7th Infantry Division. While in Korea he also served an assignment as Commander of the 125th Medical Detachment. Upon return to the U.S. he was assigned to the US Army Hospital in Fort Belfoir, VA. Following his initial tour of active duty, Dr. Riffle began a residency in ophthalmology at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. While a resident he retained a strong interest in the military and joined the Pennsylvania Army National Guard 28th Infantry Division were he served for seven years as Flight Surgeon with the 28th Combat Aviation Battalion. Following completion of his residency in 1970, he entered the group practice of ophthalmology in Hagerstown, MD. While in Hagerstown, Dr. Riffle served as the Chief of the Sub-Department of Ophthalmology at the Washington County Hospital. In 1976, Dr. Riffle returned to active duty in the Army Medical Corps to serve in the Federal Republic of Germany. Duty assignments in Germany were as the Chief of Ophthalmology at the 5th General Hospital in Bad Cannstatt, Division Surgeon of the 8th Infantry Division at the Bad Kreuznach and as Assistant Chief of the Ophthalmology Service at the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt. Following his tour of duty in Germany, Dr. Riffle then attended the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA. He then began a one year fellowship in Diseases and Surgery of the Retina at the Washington Hospital Center in the District of Columbia. Upon completion of his vitreo-retinal fellowship, he was assigned for four years to the Dwight David Eisenhower Medical Center at Fort Gordon, Georgia, near Augusta. As Chief of the Ophthalmology Service at Fort Gordon he initiated a relationship with the Department of Ophthalmology at the Medical College of Georgia. This led to his appointment as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the Medical College of Georgia. In 1985, Dr. Riffle, then a Colonel in the Army Medical Corps, was reassigned to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY where he served assignments as the Chief of the Ophthalmology Service and as Chief of the Department of Surgery. While in New York Dr. Riffle participated in the medical student teaching at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and was appointed Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at that institution. During this time period Dr. Riffle also received a faculty appointment as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Following a nine and a half year assignment at West Point, Dr. Riffle retired from the Army Medical Corps with over 27 years of total Army and Army National Guard Service. He assumed the position of Chief of the Ophthalmology Department at the Augusta Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center in 1995. He is presently an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Medical College of Georgia.
Dr. Riffle’s areas of clinical teaching cover a broad area. Although primarily interested in vitreo-retinal diseases and surgery, he retains a strong interest in comprehensive ophthalmology. His foremost area of clinical involvement is in the teaching of basic cataract surgical skills to the second year residents as they undergo their primary surgical rotation for a four month period at the VA Medical Center. He also instructs and assists residents throughout their experience at the VA in oculoplastics surgical cases. The residents at the VA also benefit considerably from Dr. Riffle's instruction and supervision in the area of retina laser procedures and YAG laser surgery.
In the past Dr. Riffle has also served as the attending for most of the glaucoma surgical procedures performed at the VA. He serves as a clinic attending for general ophthalmology, oculoplastics, retina and laser clinics. Dr. Riffle’s committee assignments are as Chairman of the Laser Safety Committee at the VA and as a representative to the Ethics Committee at the Medical College of Georgia. He serves on the rotation schedule as faculty leader for Grand Rounds Sessions and has recently assumed the coordination of the Ethics Training Seminars.
Dr. Riffle is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Other organizations in which he is a member include the Richmond County Medical Society, Medical Association of Georgia, the Georgia Society of Ophthalmology, the Society of Military Ophthalmologists and the National Association of Veterans Affairs Physicians and Dentists.
Among Dr. Riffle’s awards and decorations are the Aeronautical Designation of Master Flight Surgeon, the Army Accommodation Medal, the Pennsylvania Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leave Clusters, the Legion of Merit and the Order of Military Medical Merit. Riffle received one of three faculty awards for resident teaching from the graduating resident class in 2001 and received the primary resident award for faculty teaching from the graduating resident class in 2002.