Joseph M. Civantos, MD, is a nationally recognized expert who specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of diseases of the retina and vitreous, including macular degeneration, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy, trauma to the eye and retinopathy of prematurity. In addition to his busy medical practice, Dr. Civantos is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He has been associated with Illinois Retina Associates since 1994.

A native of Miami, Dr. Civantos inherited his passion for the practice of medicine from his father, who is also a physician. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts and medical training at the prestigious Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. Dr. Civantos completed an ophthalmology residency at the Bascom Eye Institute in Miami, Florida followed by a retina-vitreous fellowship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Civantos is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.

A committed researcher, Dr. Civantos has served as principal investigator for a number of major clinical trials over the years, involving the treatment of macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment.

Dr. Civantos speaks extensively at ophthalmology meetings throughout the United States. He has published articles for several academic specialty journals and has presented on such topics as the management of dislocated intraocular lenses, ocular infections, diabetic vitrectomy, macular disease, photodynamic therapy in young patients and others. Dr. Civantos holds memberships in several professional societies and organizations and serves on the Board of Directors for the Deicke Center for Visual Rehabilitation in Wheaton. He has been listed in Best Doctors in America and the Guide to America’s Top Ophthalmologists. Dr. Civantos is on staff at several area hospitals and sees patients at Illinois Retina’s HinsdaleJoliet and Harvey office locations.

Clinical Trials/Research

  • Principal Investigator, Inspire Study
  • Principal Investigator, Verteporfin Expanded Access Trial
  • Co-investigator, Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS)
  • Co-investigator, Submacular Surgery Trial
  • Co-investigator, Diabetic Macular Edema Vitrectomy Study
  • Co-investigator, Comparison of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatments Trial (CATT)
  • Co-investigator, Standard Care vs. Corticosteroid for Retinal Vein Occlusion (SCORE) Study
  • Co-investigator, MacuSight Study

Specialty Journals

  • American Journal of Ophthalmology
  • Archives of Ophthalmology
  • Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
  • International Ophthalmology Clinics
  • Ophthalmic Surgery
  • Controlled Clinical Trials
  • Retina

Societies And Organizations

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Board of Ophthalmology, associate examiner
  • American Society of Retina Specialists
  • American Medical Association
  • Chicago Ophthalmological Society
  • Chicago Medical Society


  • English
  • Spanish


  • Retinal Specialist – Irwin Retina Center/Ingalls Hospital
  • Retinal Specialist – Department of Ophthalmology/Rush Medical College


  • Ophthalmology – Bascom Palmer Eye Institute


  • University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital

Medical School

  • M.D. – Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons


  • B.A. – Harvard College