Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Dr. James E. Key

Our Physicians - Dr. James E. Key

James E. Key, M.D.

Dr. James E. Key

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Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology
Weill Cornell Medical College

Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology
Baylor College of Medicine

Practice Location

Scurlock Tower
6560 Fannin Street, Suite 450
Houston, TX 77030
Office: 713-441-8843
Fax: 713-793-1636


University of Texas, Austin, TX

Medical School

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX


Baylor Affiliated Hospitals, Houston, TX


Ophthalmology: Baylor Affiliated Hospitals, Houston, TX

Areas of Interest

  • Ocular manifestations of systemic medical disorders
  • Geriatric ophthalmology
  • Contact lens fitting and research

Honors & Awards

  • Honor Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Physicians Recognition Award of the AMA
  • Outstanding Alumni Award by Baylor (2006)
  • American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award (1977, 1980, 1986, 1989, 1993)


English, Spanish


Dr. Key, a native Texan, was born in Brazoria County, home to his maternal ancestors since the 1830s. After graduation from Brazosport High School as a National Merit Scholar, he went on to the University of Texas where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year. All of his medical training, including internship and ophthalmology residency, was taken at Baylor College of Medicine, interrupted only by two years of active duty with the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam conflict.

Dr. Key began the private practice of ophthalmology in the Texas Medical Center in 1976 with an emphasis on highly personal, unhurried care. As one of the early graduates trained in phacoemulsification and intraocular implants, he built a gratifying surgical practice to complement his other interest in contact lenses. As a member of the clinical faculty at Baylor, he taught cataract surgery at the Veterans Hospital for twenty-five years and still serves as Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology. He has also served as Chief of Ophthalmology at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital for over twenty years. Dr. Amy Coburn, fellowship trained in glaucoma, joined the practice in 1991 to create Medical Center Ophthalmology. Dr. Rahul Pandit, fellowship trained in cornea and refractive surgery, joined in 2003.

Dr. Key is best known for his work in contact lens research. He has performed clinical studies under FDA protocols on every major lens or care product development since 1978. He is past president of the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, editor of a major text on lens fitting, and lectures widely both in the U.S. and abroad. He has received the Honor Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Physicians Recognition Award of the AMA, and was given the yearly Outstanding Alumni Award by Baylor in 2006.

Dr. Key met his wife Betty when they were both at the University of Texas and they have been together ever since. They have two children and three grandchildren, all living in Houston. While family functions are numerous, the Keys find time to participate in a wide range of church and community affairs.

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