Wiktor Feliks Szokalski, The Father of Ophthalmology in Poland
Affiliation: Uniklinik Freiburg
Keywords: Wiktor Feliks Szokalski, ophthalmology, history of ophthalmology, European physician par excellence
Wiktor Feliks Szokalski had an eventful life as a physician. He joined the Polish army in 1831. Szokalski was expatriated and immigrated to Germany, where he continued his medical studies in Gießen. He specialized in ophthalmology in Heidelberg and Würzburg. Later, he moved to Paris and became an assistant physician in Dr. Sichel’s Ophthalmological Clinic in 1838. Szokalski gave lectures in ophthalmology in Paris. After completing his French thesis on the topic “Sur la diplopie unioculaire ou la double vision d’un oeil” in 1839, he became co-editor of the Journal »L’Esculape«. In 1844 he was the founder and first president of the Society of German Physicians in Paris. He was nominated head of the hospital in Alice-Sainte-Reine (Burgundy) and kept that position for five years; in addition, he was nominated as railroad physician in Lyon. In 1853 he returned to the Kingdom of Poland and became director of Lubomirski’s Institute of Ophthalmology in 1858. From 1861 to 1871, he was professor of ophthalmology and otology at Warsaw’s main hospital, which later became part of Warsaw University. When he refused to give lectures in the Russian language, he had to leave the university. He was member of 33 international academies. He died of a lipomyxoma of the shoulder joint in 1891. This article has been previously published in Hist Ophthal Intern 2016, Vol.2: 3-25.