Hindsight, 1985: William E. Scott, MD

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In 1985 the NOAO’s Annual Symposium focused on Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. One of our expert speakers was Dr. William E. Scott, who has made significant contributions to pediatric ophthalmology.

Dr. Scott was born and raised in Iowa City, Iowa. He spent the majority of his career in his home state, earning a master’s in physiology at the University of Iowa and his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine. After completing his internship at Wayne State General Hospital in Detroit, he returned to the University of Iowa for his ophthalmology residency. He went on to do fellowships in pediatric ophthalmology at Smith-Kettlewell Institute for the Visual Sciences in San Francisco, with Dr. Arthur Jampolsky, and at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., with Dr. Marshall Parks. He joined the faculty of the University of Iowa College of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology in 1971.

As a member of the faculty at the University of Iowa, Dr. Scott has made significant clinical, educational and research contributions. He is a prolific writer in the fields of strabismus, neuromuscular physiology of the extraocular muscles, and acquired and congenital abnormalities of eye movements. He is a founding member of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus (AAPOS). Dr. Scott emphasized the importance of combining clinical care and education in his research, treating many children while simultaneously training the pediatric ophthalmologists of tomorrow. He served for many years as the service director for the University of Iowa Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus Service and has been involved in the training of over 50 fellows in pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus.

Dr. Scott’s many awards and recognitions include the American Academy of Ophthalmology Distinguished Service Award, the American Academy of Ophthalmology Honor Award, the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus Senior Honor Award, and the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology Faculty Award for Distinguished Service. He is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He has been listed in the “Best Doctors in America” database by Woodward/White and as one of the “Country’s Top Doctors” by Castle Connolly Publications. He has delivered the American Orthoptic Council’s Richard G. Scobee Memorial Lecture, the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus’ Costenbader Lecture, and the Iowa Eye Association’s Alson E. Braley Lecture.

In 2001, Dr. Scott was honored with the creation of an endowed chair at the University of Iowa that bears his name. The chair was established with an anonymous gift of $1.6 million. In June 2002, The Iowa Eye Association Annual Meeting honored Dr. Scott. The three-day pediatric ophthalmology symposium had a record-setting attendance.

Dr. Scott was instrumental in organizing national randomized clinical trials dealing with the treatment of strabismus and was a vigorous and outspoken advocate of full-time occlusion therapy in the management of amblyopia. He has been an invited lecturer throughout the world and an ardent supporter of education of clinical and surgical care in pediatric ophthalmology. Dr. Scott continues to teach as Professor Emeritus of Ophthalmology in Pediatric Ophthalmology & Adult Strabismus at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Among his current projects is the Iowa KidSight screening program, which provides free vision screening to infants and young children throughout Iowa and educates the public about the risk of undetected vision loss.

For the New Orleans Academy of Ophthalomology Symposium in 1985, Dr. Scott presented two lectures on the classification and treatment of superior oblique palsies and led a round table discussion on the treatment of congenital cataracts and persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous.

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