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Article
October 1936

OPHTHALMOLOGIST, OCULIST, OPTICIAN AND OPTOMETRIST: THE ORIGIN OF THESE WORDS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Author Affiliations

SAN FRANCISCO
From the Division of Ophthalmology, Stanford University Medical School.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1936;16(4):609-623. doi:10.1001/archopht.1936.00840220067005
Abstract

Twenty-two medical specialties are listed in the "American Medical Directory" for 1934. The name of one specialty, "public health," is a combination of an Anglo-Saxon word and an adaptation1 of a word from the Latin word populus (people). "Medicine" and "obstetrics" are adaptations of Latin words. "Tuberculosis" is derived from a Latin word with the addition of the suffix -osis, representing the Greek ωοτς The names of the other eighteen specialties ("roentgenology" and "radiology" are here included) are derived from Greek words.

The medical specialty devoted to the diseases of the eye is listed as "ophthalmology." The physician specializing in the diseases of the eye is known as an "ophthalmologist," a term which is formed on the Greek word ὀϕθαγμός (eye) plus γόλος (a word). He is also known as an "oculist," a term which is an adaptation of the Latin word oculus (eye). The physician specializing in diseases

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