Museum of Vision

Dedicated to preserving ophthalmic history

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  1. Selections from the Sherman Collection
  2. History of Ophthalmology in the Asia Pacific
  3. Their Eyes to the Sky
  4. Great Insights and Great Thinkers in Ophthalmology
  5. Beyond Ophthalmology, Beyond the Clinic
  6. Extreme Vision: Science Fiction or Truth
  7. Contagion! Epidemics in Ophthalmic History
  8. The Eyes of War
  9. Spectacular Spectacles
  10. To Fool the Eye
  11. Windows to the Soul
  12. Picturing The Eye: Ophthalmic Film and Photography
  13. Collecting Ophthalmology: 30 Years at the Museum

Jackson and medical education

Edward Jackson, MD (1856-1942)and a revolution in medical education

The 1910 Flexner Report issued by the Carnegie Foundation exposed the poor state of American medical education causing sweeping changes to physician instruction. The report was part of a social reform movement known as the Progressive Era, a 17 year period during which America saw a slow revolution in society, politics and industry. Following the Flexner Report a number of leaders in American ophthalmology deliberated how to best standardize education, test students and certify specialists of ophthalmology. Edward Jackson, a professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, was a key member of three important organizations in this debate including the American Medical Association, American Ophthalmological Society and American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology.

In 1914 Jackson was Chair of the AMA Section on Ophthalmology's Committee of Education in Ophthalmology which proposed that the three organizations create a board which would superintend the testing of "those who design to enter on the special or exclusive practice of ophthalmology." Two years later the American Board of Ophthalmic Examination, the first of all medical specialty boards, was established with Jackson as its first president. The Board changed its name in 1933 to the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO).

To raise the competency of those engaged in ophthalmologic practice in the United States, the ABO promoted residency training and specialized graduate programs. It then tested students in a written and oral examination. The certificate of completion awarded to the fully-trained ophthalmologist was designed to let both the public and medical profession know the recipient was qualified to meet the high standards of patient care in ophthalmology. Today the ABO fosters continual improvement and maintenance of certification through continual medical education.



  1. Helmholtz and the ophthalmoscope
  2. Koller and cocaine
  3. Graefe and glaucoma
  4. Gullstrand and the Nobel Prize
  5. Jackson and medical education
  6. Ridley and cataract
  7. Machemer and the vitreous

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