Dr. Andrew Kao was voted 'Best Ophthalmologist' in The Bakersfield Californian 2021 Best Of Reader's Choice Poll.

Comprehensive Ophthalmology and Ocular Oncology

Andrew A. Kao, MD is a board-certified ophthalmologist who returned to his native Bakersfield to practice ophthalmology at Empire Eye and Laser Center in 2016. He was valedictorian from Stockdale High in 2001 and went on to graduate with honors from UC Berkeley. He received his medical degree from UC San Francisco. He next completed a fellowship in ocular pathology at the top eye hospital in the country, the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida.

Dr. Kao completed his residency at the longest running eye hospital in the US, the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, in Manhattan, NY, and was recognized as the top resident in his class. He then undertook a year-long fellowship in ocular oncology at UC San Francisco, where he learned to care for ocular surface and intraocular tumors, in addition to teaching cataract surgery to residents. He enjoys providing the most advanced ophthalmologic treatment to his hometown, and has performed thousands of sight-restoring surgeries. He is also a volunteer surgeon, board member, and Chief Medical Officer at Advanced Center for Eyecare, a non-profit clinic that provides medical and surgical care to the underserved in Central California and beyond.

On a national level, Dr. Kao has given presentations at educational conferences and has trained both young and experienced surgeons on cataract surgery and microinvasive glaucoma procedures. He has been principal investigator on a Phase III FDA clinical trial for a novel glaucoma drug delivery device, and sub-investigator on several FDA clinical trials of advanced intraocular lens technologies.
Outside of work, Dr. Kao enjoys traveling, reading, and watching Giants baseball. He is an amateur runner and cyclist, and hopes to improve his gardening skills. An Eagle Scout, he stays involved as Executive Vice President of the Southern Sierra Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He also plays violin with the BC/CSUB Chamber Orchestra and is Vice President of the Bakersfield Youth Symphony Orchestra, of which he was a member in his youth.

Dr. Kao was voted Best Ophthalmologist in The Bakersfield Californian Best Of Readers’ Choice Poll in 2021, 2022, and 2023, and was also featured in Bakersfield Life Magazine’s “20 Under 40” in 2022. He was recognized as the 2022 Operation Sight Volunteer of the Year by the ASCRS Foundation for his charitable work through Advanced Center for Eyecare. He received the Beautiful Bakersfield Award for Young Professional in 2023, from the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce.