Pioneering Panama City Doctor Passes Away

Longtime Panama City Ophthalmologist Dr. O. Lee Mullis passed away this weekend. Friends of the family say Mullis died peacefully at his home on Saturday.

Mullis practiced in Panama City for 35 years and founded the Mullis Eye Institute on Jenks Ave at Airport Road.

Mullis was seen for years in a variety of television commercials with his staff of eye specialists. Over the past 14 years, he performed thousands of free cataract surgeries for needy patients in and around Bay County.

Funeral arrangements are pending and will be announced later in the day.

Mullis was 76-years-old.

Dr. Lee Mullis' bio
Courtesy: Mullis Eye Institute
Lee Mullis, M.D. obtained his Bachelors of Science degree from Elon College, North Carolina. He earned his medical degree from the University of Maryland in 1969. He completed his internship at Conemaugh Memorial Hospital in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and his ophthalmology residency was at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He served in the U.S. Army from 1973 to 1975 as a medical officer.

In 1976, Dr. Mullis and his family settled in Panama City, Florida. A pioneer in the field of Ophthalmology, Dr. Mullis built his own medical office building in 1979 and then built his own State-of-the-Art licensed Ambulatory Surgery Center in 1984. Over the years, he has established offices in Marianna, Crestview and Niceville, Florida. He was the first in Bay County to perform topical, no stitch cataract surgery. Dr. Mullis continues to be a leader in the newest technologies available. He was the first in the area to use refractive intraocular lenses (SmartLenses) for his cataract patients.

Dr. Mullis is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist and Surgeon. He is Fellow of both the American College of Refractive and Cataract Surgeons and of American Academy of Ophthalmology; a member of the American Medical Association, the Florida Medical Association, the Bays Medical Society. Dr. Mullis lives in Panama City and cares deeply about the community that he serves. Over the years Dr. Mullis has seen firsthand a profound need in the community for eye care to those in need. Since 1992, he has performed thousands of free cataract surgeries to those deserving persons in Bay and the surrounding counties.


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