Hindsight, 1971: Ramon Castroviejo, MD

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1971 was actually the second time that Dr. Ramon Castroviejo spoke at an NOAO Symposium – the first was in 1960.  The topic in ’71 was Cornea, of which Dr. Castroviejo, considered to be the father of modern corneal transplant surgery, is unmistakably an expert.

Born in Logrono, Spain, Ramon received his college education there and graduated in 1927 with his MD from the University of Madrid.  He then moved to the United States where he became an attending ophthalmologist at the Chicago Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat Hospital, and later a research fellow at The Mayo Clinic, where he developed a double-bladed knife for square grafts and conducted research that culminated in the development of new keratoplasty techniques that became a worldwide standard and are still taught to surgeons today.  Castroviejo was also responsible for the creation of the Castroviejo needle holder, an instrument used in not only eye surgery but dental and other forms of microsurgery, and numerous other instruments.

Castroviejo Medal from the Cornea Society

Dr. Castroviejo inspired the creation of the Cornea Society, which awards a medal annually doctors whom are thought to be the most outstanding individual in the field of cornea and anterior segment of the eye.  He also founded the Castroviejo Institute of Ophthalmic Research at the University of Madrid, was a frequent speaker at medical meetings all over the world, and a honorary member of numerous international ophthalmic societies.

He died in 1987 at 83 years old, in Madrid.

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