Santa Monica Eye Medical Group
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Sadiqa Khawaja Stelzner, M.D., M.A.

Dr. Stelzner joined the Santa Monica Eye Medical Group in 2004. After the retirement of Dr. Dickerson in January of 2008, she became the successor of the practice. Initially trained as a cellular biologist, Dr. Stelzner has published many scientific, peer- reviewed articles in respected scientific journals.

Upon completion of her undergraduate and graduate studies at UCLA, Dr. Stelzner was invited to Milan, Italy, to perform scientific research on a grant from the Italian Council of Science. She subsequently received her medical school education at Boston University. Dr. Stelzner was granted a research fellowship by The National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the Harvard Medical School/ Brigham and Women's Hospital. After completion of her research fellowship, Dr. Stelzner accepted a residency training position in Ophthalmology at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. She has completed executive managment training with the Yale School of Management.

Dr. Stelzner worked as an ophthalmologist with Dr. David McIntyre at an internationally known practice in Seattle, Washington. While there, Dr. Stelzner performed cataract, LASIK and cosmetic eyelid surgeries. In addition to her work at the practice, she traveled with humanitarian organizations to perform surgeries, giving the gift of sight to patients and teaching her safe and innovative surgical techniques to local eye doctors in Mexico and El Salvador.

In 2003, Dr. Stelzner and her family moved back to Los Angeles. Dr. Stelzner is currently the Director of Eye Care at the Greater Los Angeles Veteran's Hospital and is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine/Jules Stein Eye Institute where she teaches the UCLA residents.

Dr. Stelzner has been recognized in "Who's and Who" and in Consumer's Report as one of Americas Best Ophthalmologists. Her area of interest is in comprehensive eye care including cataract, Laser and eyelid surgeries. Dr. Stelzner is a Fellow of American Academy of Ophthalmology; a member of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, American Medical Association, the California Medical Association and the American Society of Anti-Aging. She is the staff surgeon at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica UCLA, Santa Monica Surgery Center and Laser Eye Associate in Beverly Hills.

Dr. Stelzner is a Board-Certified Ophthalmologist. She lives on the Westside with her husband and two children. Dr. Stelzner was the recent recipient of the Best Teaching Award from the Jules Stein Eye Institute/UCLA.


Jay Gross, M.D.

Dr. Jay Gross joined the Santa Monica Eye Medical Group in 1978 for advanced training, and joined the practice as an idependent provider. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Gross received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He attended the Free University of Brussels in Belgium receiving a Masters in Science degree. Dr. Gross attended Albany Medical College, Albany, New York obtaining his M.D. degree. He received an Internship at Long Island Jewish Hospital. Dr. Gross completed his residency in Ophthalmology at George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C. Upon graduation, Dr. Gross completed a year of fellowship with the Santa Monica Eye Group. Liking California, Dr. Gross decided to stay.

Dr. Gross is a Diplomat of the American Board of Ophthalmology and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is a member of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the California Association of Ophthalmology, and the Rotary Club of Santa Monica. Dr. Gross is Chief of the Section of Ophthalmology and a Senior Staff member at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center. He is also on staff at St. John's Hospital Center and Surgery Center of Santa Monica.

Dr. Gross has generously donated his time to the Center for Health Aging and the Venice Free Clinic. He has been the Ophthalmologist for the Les Kelley Family Health Center for the past 26 years and has taught almost all the Residents during this time. He is now an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCLA.

Dr. Gross specializes in Comprehensive Ophthalmology with special interest in cataract and Intra-ocular lens surgery.

He lives in Santa Monica with his wife and son. His interests include sailing, computers, photography and television.


Candice S. Chen, M.D.

Candice S. Chen, M.D. joined Santa Monica Eye Medical Group in 2002. Originally from Atlanta, Ga., Candice graduated Magna Cum Laude from Columbia University with honors in Biology. She attended Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where she obtained her medical degree. Dr. Chen completed her internship at the West Los Angeles Veteran’s Hospital and finished her training in Ophthalmology at UCLA – Jules Stein Eye Institute.

Dr. Chen is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the California Association of Ophthalmology, and the American Medical Association. She is a staff member at Santa Monica – UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital and St. John’s Hospital Center.

Dr. Chen specializes in Comprehensive Ophthalmology with a special interest in cataract and intraocular lens implantation as well as glaucoma and pediatrics. She currently lives in Santa Monica with her husband, Gautam, and son, Krishan.


Peter J. Kappel, M.D.

Dr. Kappel graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a degree in microbiology. He earned his medical degree from the University of California at Irvine-College of Medicine where he graduated at the top of his class. After finishing an internship in internal medicine at the University of California at Irvine Department of Medicine, Dr. Kappel to completed his ophthalmology residency at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where he subsequently pursued a fellowship in ocular inflammatory eye diseases. Throughout his education and training, Dr. Kappel earned numerous honors, awards, and recognition for his scholarship and clinical excellence, including a clinical research award from the Jules Stein Eye Institute and an NIH summer research fellowship grant.

Dr. Kappel's professional memberships include the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) medical honor society. His publications have appeared in several peer-reviewed medical journals such as Ophthalmology, The American Journal of Ophthalmology, and the Journal of Investigative Medicine. Dr. Kappel has presented his research at professional society meetings across the country.

Dr. Kappel is an attending physician at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Department of Surgery and is a Clinical Instructor at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. He lives on the Westside with his wife, Stefani T. Kappel, M.D., who is a resident physician in dermatology at UCLA.

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