Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Ophthalmology was first taught at the medical school in 1893 by Dr. John Tenney, a lecturer who was promoted to professor in 1894. The school possessed a separate department of ophthalmology until 1963, when it was made a division of surgery. Until 1968 all ophthalmology chairs were also engaged in private practice, so they served on only a part-time basis at Tufts.
For years the ophthalmology curriculum included lectures and a clinical experience. From 1893 to 1896 this experience was provided at the Suffolk Dispensary; from 1986 to 1900 it took place at the Boston Dispensary; and from 1900 to 1933 it was supplied by the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. In the latter year teaching began at the Boston City Hospital.
In 1968 Dr. Bernard Schwartz became the first full-time professor and chair of the school's Division of Ophthalmology and chief of ophthalmology at the New England Medical Center. He subsequently recruited faculty, reorganized the teaching program, established residency and fellowship programs, and developed a research enterprise. During his tenure, ophthalmology became a separate department again. Students were taught at the New England Medical Center and the Boston V.A. Medical Center, while residents rotated between the New England Medical Center, the Boston V.A. Medical Center, and the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester.
Under Dr. Schwartz's leadership, the department developed both a full-time and part-time faculty for teaching, clinical care, and research. The faculty distinguished itself through its numerous publications, its participation in both national and international conferences, and its service on national commit-tees, such as those of the Association of Research in Vision Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the National Institutes of Health.
When Dr. Schwartz stepped down as chairman in 1990, Dr. Thomas R. Hedges, M1975, served as acting chair until Dr. Carmen Puliafito, a former faculty member of Harvard Medical School, was named head of the department in 1991. Dr. Puliafito graduated from Harvard Medical School and trained at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, has been editor-in-chief of Lasers and Surgery in Medicine, chairman of the Gordon Conference on Lasers in Medicine and Biology, and an examiner of the American Board of Ophthalmology. He has authored many publications pertaining to his field and currently serves on the editorial boards of several journals. At Tufts he has been devoted not only to the teaching of students and residents, but also to the continuing education of practicing ophthalmologists for whom he has organized many courses.
Source: COE, 142-43.