Anniversary of World War 1
On the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War it is worth recalling the devastating psychological and physical effects of chemical warfare. Mustard gas was widely used causing temporary and sometimes permanent incapacity from corneal exposure.
Dame Ida Mann, a leader in many fields of ophthalmology, is honoured at the RANZCO Head Office in Sydney with a poster presentation of her life and work as well as her original slit lamp in the Ida Mann conference room at the RANZCO office.
Dr. Kevin O’Day, an ophthalmologist in Victoria in the early and middle part of the last century, accumulated an eclectic mix of animal eyes which he had processed for histology. Whilst a few of these descriptions (platypus, albatross) contributed to knowledge of comparative ophthalmology by being published at the time most were not reported in any form. The collection of slides was hidden away for many years but recently was recovered in the basement of the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and upon request was loaned to Prof McMenamin in Anatomy and Development Biology for “rebirthing”. RANZCO museum had a desire to make some form of electronic resource of the collection available to members. Hence, we carefully selected the best 70 slides from 57 species from several thousand slides that we considered were well enough preserved and provided valuable morphological data. Slides were cleaned and then digitally scanned and this data will be available to college members as an online resource. Amongst the many slides are specimens of fish, amphibians, reptiles, monotremes, marsupials, and placental mammals, many of which would be difficult to source in the modern era. Many have likely never been carefully studied hence the digital resource will be a wealth of untapped scientific data as well being a legacy to this visionary ophthalmologist and possibly frustrated zoologist.
Prominant surgeons of the 20th century and their contribution to retinal surgery, from Gonin to Machemer. Delivered by Emil Kurniawan and David Kaufman of the Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, this exhibition detailed the origins of retinal detachment surgery from procedures dating pre-1920s to the current day.
The Discovery Of Phenylketonuria Recorded In Museum Paintings Of Patients Fundi
Hui Lin Yim- Royal Melbourne Hospital
The museum is fortunate to have a collection of the retinal paintings by Ilene Hill. These include fundi of children from the Kew Mental Asylum affected by Phenylketonuria PKU The discovery of the disease and history of the asylum and paintings was presented at RANZCO 2011.
‘Eye Surgery and Surgeons in New Zealand’ is an account of those who have practised ophthalmology in New Zealand from colonial times to recent times. Some early surgeons were colourful itinerants, who operated in hotel rooms and patients’ homes, and advertised like snake-oil salesmen. Others, such as Sir Lindo Ferguson in the early 1900s, were at the top of the specialty, and were huge contributors to medical education in New Zealand and Australia. All those who practised ophthalmology in the past are mentioned, together with the contributions that were made by many. As well as biographies of many characters, the book details the organization of ophthalmology in New Zealand, the remarkable ascent of academic ophthalmology since the late 1990s driven largely by the academic department in Auckland, the evolving relationship with Australian ophthalmology culminating in a joint College, and also some controversies fuelled by the news media, which have not always been kind to the specialty.
Prior to anterior segment and retinal photography, medical artists performed the tasks of documenting pathology. The College Archives in Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital Library contain fine examples of these works. With the development of the ophthalmoscope and slit lamp in the 19th century, ophthalmologists led by Vogt described in meticulous detail eye pathology laying the foundations of modern ophthalmology. Ilene Hill graduated at the Art Gallery of Victoria in company with many other well-known artists. The ophthalmologist Rupert Naylor who practiced in Collins Street, Melbourne taught her to use an ophthalmoscope and from there she had a fruitful career serving hospital Eye Departments and private practices in Melbourne over twenty years from 1940. Retinal paintings were charged at 4 guineas for two paintings. There are instances where a patient has been serially documented over the course of an illness. The collection of these paintings and drafts of her work are in the RANZCO Museum.
The molecular biography of John Dalton whose observations on colour vision has been verified 200 years after his death by examining DNA extracted from his preserved eye. The poster by Enis Kocak won the 2016 Jim Martin prize.