Marc Criden, MD
Marc Criden, MD, an assistant professor at the Havener Eye Institute, passed away from cancer on July 30, 2013. A neuro-ophthalmology and oculoplastics specialist, Dr. Criden was a caring, knowledgeable physician and a talented surgeon.
Dr. Criden completed his undergraduate training at Tufts University in Medford, MA, medical school at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA, and an ophthalmology residency at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. His dual neuro-ophthalmology and oculoplastics fellowship was completed at the Havener Eye Institute under the direction of Steven Katz, MD.
“I got to know Marc after he completed his residency in ophthalmology and he came to Columbus, Ohio to train with me for two years as a Fellow,” said Dr. Katz. “We invited Marc over for dinner one Sunday night and he soon became a fixture at the Katz household. It wasn’t long before the lines were blurred and although Marc was a Fellow, he was also part son, part brother, part friend.”
Dr. Criden went on to the University of Texas at Houston as the Division Director of both Neuro-Ophthalmology and Oculoplastics & Reconstructive Surgery. While in Texas, he met and married Natasha. After spending four years in Texas, Dr. Criden returned to the Havener Eye Institute and worked again with Dr. Katz.
Never one to stand on the sidelines while people were in need, Dr. Criden made two mission trips to Haiti after the major earthquake that devastated the already impoverish area. Together with Dr. Katz, they offered medical relief and surgical care to adults and children affected by the tragic event.
“When I called Marc to ask if he would come to Haiti with me for 5 days to operate on children with orbital tumors, I told him that it would be 103 degrees, no water, no air conditioning…..without hesitation, he said “I’m in.”
Dr. Criden managed a busy practice, teaching, and research. He was very interested in ocular and facial trauma, oncology, and reconstructive surgery. In research, he was interested in intracranial hypertension, giant cell arteritis, and orbital tumors. He was a member of the NORDIC trial for intracranial hypertension and was also involved in the China Eye Project, an international collaboration developing artificial vision.
“If I had to choose words to describe Marc,” reflected Dr. Katz, “they would include compassionate, empathetic, dedicated and generous. He was generous with his time. It has been said that you can tell a lot about a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. Marc chose to take care of patients with trauma and tumors, difficult reconstructions, late nights, weekends---he was always on call. Often a population of patients without insurance, under appreciated and under reimbursed…..patients in crisis.”
When his own life was in crisis, Dr. Criden faced his condition bravely. From the time of his diagnosis with cancer in May of 2012 until the day he made the decision to admit himself to hospice, he never complained. Facing his own mortality, he carried himself with tremendous grace and dignity.
Dr. Criden’s legacy will live on in the patients whose lives he touched, in his beautiful wife Natasha and 18 month old daughter Scarlett, in hearts of his family and friends, and anyone lucky to have known him.
The Marc Criden, MD Lectureship Fund is being established in memory of his tireless dedication to education. To donate, send a check, payable to the OSU Department of Ophthalmology, to Ophthalmology Outreach, 915 Olentangy River Rd, Suite 5000, Columbus, OH 43212.