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The History of Tulane Ophthalmology


Lecturers 1867-1907

The Tulane University School of Medicine was founded in 1834 as the Medical College of Louisiana. The school began with seven professors teaching the disciplines of anatomy and physiology, chemistry, material medica, principles and practice of medicine, surgery, obstetrics, and diseases of women and children. Ophthalmology was not taught as a distinct specialty until 1867.


Specialties began to emerge in American medicine by the 1850s. The American Ophthalmological Society (AOS) was founded in 1864. To teach the new specialties, Tulane established a special faculty position of "Lecturer." The first Lecturer was an ophthalmologist, Dr. Bolling A. Pope, who served from 1867-68, making ophthalmology the first specialty to be taught at Tulane. In 1879, Dr. Pope became the first vice-president of the new Section on Ophthalmology of the American Medical Association, and later, he became the Chairman in 1880.

The Lecturers in Ophthalmology were as follows:

1867-1868: Dr. Bolling A. Pope
1869-1873: none
1873-1877: Dr. Victor Grima
1877-1884: Dr. Edward Harrison
1884-1890: Dr. Stirling D. Kennedy
1890-1892: Dr. William Cook Ayers
1892-1907: Dr. Edward Wynn Jones

In 1907, the School of Medicine Faculty was reorganized, prompting the resignation of Dr. Jones and the end of the Lecturer era. Private practitioners began giving their time to teach new physicians, launching a long tradition of pro bono service that would come to define the Tulane Ophthalmology Department.


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