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Our History


 

The Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado was established in 1883 when Doctor George Cleary was appointed as lecturer of ophthalmology and otolaryngology. The well-known Doctor Edward Jackson assumed the position in 1905 and brought academic pursuits to the University of Colorado. The famous 'Jackson Lecture' at the American Academy of Ophthalmology carries his name. More recently, Doctor Philip Ellis was the Chair between 1960 to 1995. We have grown over the years.

The mission of the Department of Ophthalmology is:To be a nationally recognized department of ophthalmology that serves the people of the Rocky Mountain Region by providing exemplary patient care founded on educational leadership, innovative research and high ethical standards.

Our faculty are actively involved in research, clinical care and education. We participate in the education of medical students and sponsor a three-year residency with 4 residents per year. Fortunately, we are very competitive in attracting residents to our program and over 50% go on to fellowships for subspecialty training within ophthalmology.

Our faculty conduct clinical active research programs as well as some basic science studies of the visual system. The results of these research projects are presented national and international meetings. Currently, we are studying hereditary pediatric cataracts, macular degeneration, pediatric glaucoma patients developing endophthalmitis, changes in nerve fiber layer thickness, delivery of antibiotic into the eye, corneal changes following LASIK, microscope-induced retinal phototoxicity after cataract surgery, evaluation of the cataractogenic potential and occult outer retinopathies.

Our faculty are prominent in international organizations and participate in both presentation of research and teaching activities both nationally and internationally. Primary and tertiary eye care to patients is provided by our 11 full time faculty teaching members and, in conjunction with our teaching mission, we have 68 community-based faculty at the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute, University of Colorado Hospital; Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Denver Health Medical Center and The Children's Hospital. Our residents rotate through all facilities. In addition to teaching medical students and residents in these facilities, patients from the entire Rocky Mountain region receive the highest quality of care of diagnostic and treatment of disorders of the visual system.

The details of our residency and fellowship program can be viewed on the Education page of this website.