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Mar 2012

In Memoriam: Mitchell H. Friedlaender, MD (1946-2011)

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Division of Ophthalmology, Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California.

Arch Ophthalmol. 2012;130(3):364. doi:10.1001/archopthalmol.2011.1937

The first time I met Mitchell Friedlaender was in 1988 when I was interviewing at Scripps Clinic. He was the junior ophthalmologist in the department at the time. He had joined 3 years earlier. After those first few minutes with him, I walked out of his office with a terrific first impression of Scripps. He was helpful, encouraging, and supportive from the start. He continued to be so during his many years of service at Scripps Clinic.

Over the course of his career, his influence benefited both his close colleagues and the field of ophthalmology at large. At the clinical level, he was a stabilizing presence and brought marvelous interpersonal skills and goodwill to our daily work. Most people he came in contact with considered him a friend. He cared deeply for his patients, many of whom stayed with him in excess of 25 years. He also contributed vastly to our knowledge of ocular allergy and dry eye through his extensively published research and the hundreds of lectures he gave in the United States and abroad. With little fanfare, he founded and perpetuated valuable forums for information exchange, such as the Aspen Corneal Society in Snowmass, Colorado, and the Pearls of Ocular Therapy in La Jolla, California.