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Simon Pollak and Ophthalmology in St. Louis During the Civil War

Simon Pollak Mary McLean

On Thursday, April 12th at 4:30 pm, the Bernard Becker Medical Library in collaboration with the Center for the History of Medicine will present the 24th Historia Medica Lecture.

Dr. Robert Feibel

The presentation, "Simon Pollak and Ophthalmology in St. Louis During the Civil War," will be given by Dr. Robert Feibel, Professor of Clinical Opthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Simon Pollak (1814-1903) was a prominent physician in St. Louis who was the first in the city to specialize in ophthalmology. He played a key role in advancing education for the blind and visually impaired as one of the founders of the Missouri School for the Blind and was the first to introduce the Braille system of reading for the blind in the United States. He served energetically on the side of the Union in the Civil War, and established and conducted the first ophthalmology clinic in the city hospital of St. Louis. He championed the role of women physicians in organized medicine, and was able with considerable difficulty to obtain membership for one, Dr. Mary McLean, to the St. Louis Medical Society. Dr. McLean was the Society’s first female member.

The presentation will take place in the King Center on the seventh floor of the Becker Library at the Washington University School of Medicine at 660 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis. Light refreshments will follow the lecture.

* Please note: Becker Briefs pages may contain links, email addresses or information about resources which are no longer current.