One hundred years ago there were, strictly-speaking, no ophthalmologists. However, there were a few doctors here and there who devoted an unusually large part of their practice to diseases of the eye and hence may be called part time ophthalmologists. It is not clear whether they became such by their own choice or by choice of the public. As to the mother of American ophthalmology, histories are silent; but Elisha North (1771-1843), of New London, Conn.; Philip Syng Physick (1768-1837), of Philadelphia, and George Frick (1793-1870), of Baltimore, each has been designated the father.
A look at the past. . .. Arch Ophthalmol. 2007;125(7):991. doi:10.1001/archopht.125.7.991