Dr. McDonald received her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, followed by an internship in internal medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital and ophthalmology residency at Manhattan Eye Ear and Throat Hospital/Cornell, both in New York City. She finished her training after a fellowship in corneal and external diseases with Dr. Herbert E. Kaufman at the LSU Medical School in New Orleans. From 1981, Dr. McDonald held tenure at LSU Medical School and became Full Professor of Ophthalmology, Director of the Corneal Service, and Chairman of the LSU Promotions and Tenure Committee before she established the Southern Vision Institute in New Orleans in 1994. Dr McDonald joined the Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island in Lynbrook, NY, in 2006. Currently, she is also a Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at New York University in Manhattan and a Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans. Dr McDonald is also a staff physician at Manhattan Eye Ear and Throat Hospital in NY, NY; at TLC in Garden City, NY; at Island Eye Surgicenter in Carle Place, NY; and at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, NY.
For her pioneering work in refractive surgery that included development and performance of the world’s first excimer laser refractive procedure in patients in 1988, she has received numerous recognition awards from her peers including the 1988 Lans Distinguished Refractive Surgeon Lecture, Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, International Society of Refractive Keratoplasty; the 1993 Barraquer Lecturer, International Society of Refractive Keratoplasty of the American Academy of Ophthalmology; the 2000 Whitney Sampson Lecture, American Academy of Ophthalmology; and the 2001 Binkhorst Lecture, American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Dr McDonald serves on numerous Editorial Boards of clinical and scientific journals and is an active member of multiple national and international professional societies that have accorded recognition including: Vice President Finance, International Society of Contact Lens Research (1993-2011); Honorary President, Founding Member, International Association of Women Eye Surgeons (1997-1998), and in 2001, the President of the Association of Women Eye Surgeons. In 2002, Dr McDonald became the first female President of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS, 2002-2003); in 2008-2010, she became the first–and still only– female President of the International Society of Refractive Surgery of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (ISRS of the AAO). She then became President of the International Society for Contact Lens Research (ISCLR, 2011–2013). Dr McDonald was selected as a Top Ophthalmologist in Lynbrook, NY by the International Association of HealthCare professionals (IAHCP) for 2014, and has received many additional honors, including her recent election to Castle Connolly Top Doctors 2020. Dr McDonald has over 1,800 publications in the field of cornea and refractive surgery and has been the principal investigator of three National Eye Institute grants.
She serves as a Clinical Advisor for Visus Therapeutics (2020-). Dr. McDonald lives in Port Washington, New York, with her husband, Dr Stephen Klyce, an adjunct professor of ophthalmology at Mt Sinai in New York.