Meet Dr. Potgieter

Meet Dr. Potgieter

M.B., Ch.B., FCS(Opth) SA, M.Med (Opth)

About the Doctor


Dr Potgieter specialises in the eye's anterior segment. He has, over the past 25 years, successfully performed many thousands of corrective eye treatments, including laser vision correction such as LASIK eye surgery and the latest SMILE Pro corrective laser treatment; cataract operations; intra-ocular lens replacements; corneal transplants; intra-corneal ring segment implants and many other types of intricate eye operations and treatments.

He is a graduate of the University of Stellenbosch, the University of Pretoria, a Fellow of the College of Medicine of South Africa, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the European Board of Ophthalmology sub-speciality division in cataract and refractive surgery. He also completed a fellowship in glaucoma at the Queen's Medical Center in Nottingham UK, before his interest shifted to corneal and refractive surgery.

Dr Potgieter is the founder and director of the Optimed Eye and Laser Clinic in Pretoria, South Africa. He is recognised as an expert in the field of laser refractive corrections and refractive surgery and is thus a frequently-invited lecturer at local and international scientific meetings, where he continues to impart his knowledge through the presentation of scientific papers and courses. He has directed numerous training programs for specialists in refractive eye treatments and -surgery.

Who is Dr. Potgieter?

Frederik Johannes Potgieter was born on August 27th, 1958 in Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.  After finishing his senior grades at the Brandwag High School in Uitenhage, he started his medical studies at the Medical School of the University of Stellenbosch, where he completed his MB ChB in 1982.  It was during this time that Jenny Rudman, who was to become his lifelong soul mate and companion, became an integral part of his life.  From this marriage, 3 daughters were born.



M.B., Ch.B.                 University of Stellenbosch, 1982

FCS (Ophth) (SA)     South African College of Medicine, 1996

M.Med. (Ophth)        University of Pretoria, 1996

FRCS                         Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 1996

FEBOS-CR                 European Board of Ophthalmology, 2017



  • Junior Command and Staff course, South African Defence Force, 1988 - 1990

  • Junior Command and Staff Operational course, South African Defence Force, 1990


  • Kritzinger Memorial Lectureship Award:  International Society of Refractive Surgery, Dallas, TX, October 21, 2000

  • Kritzinger Award:  African Society of Refractive Surgery, Tunis Live meeting, Tunis, October 5, 2001

  • The Paul Harris Award: Rotary Club of Pretoria East, June 17, 2013

    • The Paul Harris Award is one of the highest recognitions awarded by the Rotary Club.

    • Below is an extract from the award speech given by the President of the Pretoria East Rotary Club:

"The Paul Harris Committee has decided to present Dr Frik Potgieter with a Paul Harris Recognition Award for the great work which he is doing and specifically in giving Titus Nchabeleng back his eyesight.  What greater gift can anyone receive!  We believe that you, Dr Potgieter, are a worthy recipient if this prestigious award.  Titus had waited two years for help and Dr Potgieter undertook to fix his eyes. After being nearly blind, he now sees better than me!".

  • Criteria for the award are:
    • The candidate's record of service rather than their status in the community.
    • Service should be of a sustained nature.
    • Service to the community beyond the call of duty.


  • The AAO Achievement Award:  The Board of Trustees, American Academy of Ophthalmology, San Francisco, CA, October 2016


  • The DJ Wood Medal: Ophthalmological Society of South Africa, Cape Town, March 23, 2019



  • Health Professions Council of South Africa, RSA (Reg. No. MP0261971)

  • General Medical Council, UK - specialist register (Reg. No. 4057484)

Working with Societies


  • African Society of Refractive Surgery (1 Jan 2002 – 31 Dec 2006)


  • International Society of Refractive Surgery of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (1 Jul 2000 - 31 Dec 2002)

  • African Society of Refractive Surgery (20 Apr 2000 – 31 Dec 2001)


  • International Society of Refractive Surgery of the American Academy of Ophthalmology

    • International Council member for South Africa (1 Jul 2000 – present)

    • Associate International Council Member for South Africa (1 Jan 1998 – 30 June 2000)

  • Southern African Society of cataract and Refractive Surgeons

    • Executive Committee member (1 Feb 2001 – present)


Ophthalmological Society of South Africa

South African Society of cataract and Refractive Surgeons

European Society of cataract and Refractive Surgeons (Member no. 2396)

American Society of cataract and Refractive Surgeons (Member no. 045396)

International Society of Refractive Surgery of the American Academy of Ophthalmology

International Intra-Ocular Implant Club (Member no. 346)

South African Glaucoma Society


  • Peer Review Scientific Publications

  • Potgieter FJ, Roberts C, Cox IG, Mahmoud AF, Herderick EE, Roetz M, Steenkamp W:  Prediction of flap response, JCRS 2005; 31 (1): 106 - 114

  • Vernon SA, Zambarakji HJ, Potgieter F, Evans J, Chell PB:  Topographic and Keratometric Astigmatism up to 1 Year Following Small Flap Trabeculectomy (Microtrabeculectomy);  Br. J. Ophthalmol 1999; 83 (7): 779 - 782 (July)

  • Book chapters

  • Potgieter, FJ:  Chapter 12 - Abnormal Pre-operative Topography (with Orbscan) and Prognosis for Surgery, Custom Lasik:  Surgical Techniques and Complications, Lucio Burratto and Stephen Brint, Slack Incorporated, ISBN 1-55642-606-2, page 435 – 444, 2003

  • Ophthalmological newspapers

  • Potgieter, FJ:  Ample training essential to achieve positive Lasik outcomes  -  Ocular Surgery News International Edition, Vol 8, Number 5, Page 25, May 1997

  • Potgieter, FJ:  Lasik Learning Curve Does Not Have to be a Long One - cataract & Refractive Surgery Euro Times, Vol 2, Issue 1, Page 14, February 1997


  • Principal Investigator

  • Protocol: Evaluation of P-IOL; Sponsor:  Rayner, UK

  • Protocol: Evaluation of PowerVision accommodative lens;  Sponsor:   PowerVision, US

  • Investigator

  • Ophtec International Multicenter Study for the Evaluation of the Artiflex Phakic lens;  Sponsor:  Ophtec BV, The Netherlands

  • STAAR protocol for the evaluation of Phakic IOL's;  Sponsor:  STAAR AG, Switzerland

  • Long-term Safety and Efficacy Evaluation of Lodoxamide Ophthalmic Solution in Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis, Atopic Keratoconjunctivitis and Giant Papillary conjunctivitis;  Sponsor:  Clindapharm, Pretoria, South Africa

  • Sub-Investigator

  • Protocol P04229:         A Randomized Placebo Controlled Efficacy and Safety Study of One Year Treatment Duration with High and Medium Dose Inhaled Mometasone Furoate/Formoterol Combination Formulation Compared to Formoterol and High Dose Inhaled Mometasone Furoate Monotherapy in Subjects with Severe COPD;  Principle Investigator:  Dr. Breedt;  Sponsor:  Schering-Plough Research Institute.

  • Protocol Crx-102-007:  A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled , Multi-Center Study To Evaluate The Superiority Of Crx-102 Over Each Of It's Components When Given To Subjects With Active Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA);  Principle Investigator:  Dr. Breedt;  Sponsor:  Schering-Plough Research Institute.

  • Research in progress

  • Protocol:  Evaluation of PowerVision accomodative lens;  Sponsor:   PowerVision, US

The Dr.'s Down-time


  • Tennis
  • Combat rifle and pistol shooting
  • Crossfit


  • Photography

  • Helicopter pilot

    • Private pilot's licence (2006)

    • Type ratings

      • Piston engine

        • - Robinson R22 helicopter

        • - Robinson R44 helicopter

      • Turbine engine

        • - Alouhette II helicopter

      • Night rating (2010)

      • Mountain flying course (2006)

  • Software development

    • Director of Nulane Technologies (Pty) Ltd, a small but innovative software development company that develops novel software solutions for medical data capturing and processing.