Edward Grom, MD, PhD, FACS, passed away at his home in Caracas, Venezuela, on December 20, 1998. Dr Grom was an ophthalmologist of national and international stature who made major contributions to ophthalmology on all levels.
He was born on October 4, 1917, in Rohatyn, Poland. He was graduated summa cum laude as a doctor of medicine on February 12, 1947, in Warsaw, Poland. He subsequently moved to Venezuela, where he was regraduated as a doctor of medicine on July 30, 1958. Although he spent his professional life in Caracas, he passed the American Board of Ophthalmology in 1961 and became a fellow of the American College of Surgeons in 1963. He was promoted to full professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University Hospital in Caracas in 1963, and from 1976 to 1985 he was chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University Hospital in Caracas. He was a fellow of many ophthalmological societies in his own country, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and was awarded many distinctions and honors throughout his career in Venezuela and abroad. I quote a short list of some of these honors: in 1970, he was made a director of the Institute of Research in Ophthalmology in Caracas; in 1976, he was elected a member and secretary-general of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis; in the same year, he was awarded the Francisco de Miranda Order First Class. He was also elected vice president of the International Glaucoma Congress in Miami in the same year. In 1978, he was elected a member of the International Council of Ophthalmology and, in the same year, was honored with the Jose Maria Vargas Order First Class. In 1979, he was elected co-chairman of the International Study Committee on Teaching in Ophthalmology. He was elected vice president of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis in 1980 and, in 1986, was chosen as the guest of honor of the XXV International Congress of Ophthalmology in Rome. In the same year, he was awarded the highest Venezuelan decoration, the Order of Liberador. He was elected an Honorary Member of the Medical College of Merida State in Venezuela and was given the "La Sapienza" Medal of the Istituto d'Oftalmologia in Rome, Italy, in 1987. In 1990, he was elected an honorary member of the Italian Ophthalmological Society.
Dr Grom was a prolific contributor to the scientific literature. He was responsible for 360 publications, mostly on comparative anatomy of the eye, the pathology of eye tumors, surgery of the retina, psychophysiology of vision, and the history of ophthalmology and ethics. He was also responsible for 9 books on many aspects of ophthalmology. The last of these was entitled "To My Students," in which he wrote about his philosophy of the practice and ethics of ophthalmology.
Dr Grom's death signifies the passing of an eminent and brilliant member of our profession and a good friend. He will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues.
Luntz MH. Edward Grom, MD, PhD, FACS, 1917-1998. Arch Ophthalmol. 1999;117(7):981. doi:10.1001/archopht.117.7.981