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Frederick C. Blodi

Born 1917
Died 1996

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Austrian-American ophthalmologist, born January 11, 1917, Vienna; died October 30, 1996.

Biography of Frederick C. Blodi

Adapted from text by Professor H. Stanley Thompson, MD, University of Iowa, as presented on the home page of University of Iowa, Department of Ophthalmology:

Frederick C. Blodi received his M.D. from the University of Vienna School of Medicine in 1940 and spent the war years as an intern and resident in pathology in various Viennese hospitals. He then completed a residency in ophthalmology at the First Ophthalmology Clinic of the University of Vienna. In 1947, Dr. Blodi moved to the United States. He became a research fellow of the World Health Organization at the Institute of Ophthalmology in New York. During this time he continued his interest in ophthalmic pathology and was a student of Dr. Algernon B. Reese. He was certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology in 1950. While at Columbia University, he met Alson E. Braley who, in 1952, invited him to join the Eye Department at the University of Iowa.

Dr. Blodi became an associate professor in 1961, professor in 1965, and head of the department in 1967. During the years of Dr. Blodi's leadership (1967-1984), the Department of Ophthalmology's reputation was enhanced as one of the very best places in the world to learn ophthalmology. Dr. Blodi has been the ideal academic physician. He was a scholar - a recognized expert in ophthalmic pathology, a skilled diagnostician and an accomplished surgeon, an administrator whose decision-making seems effortless, a devoted and thoughtful editor, and an indefatigable translator of medical books - but above all he was a teacher. As his former students will remember, Dr. Blodi loved to teach!

He bubbled over with humour, but never strayed from the point of his lecture. he liked to show a few slides at the end of a talk; this sent a signal to the student, "We're almost finished, this is the summary, pay attention." The student left the lecture wide awake and pleased with the fresh pearls in the pocket. During Dr. Blodi's tenure as professor and head of the Department of Ophthalmology, more than 120 residents and 160 fellows were trained. An unusually large number have chosen academic careers.

Honours and recognition have come to Dr. Blodi in abundance. He was the first foreign-trained ophthalmologist to sit on the American Board of Ophthalmology and he was its chairman in 1975. He was president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 1979 and president of the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology in 1982. He has been voted an honorary member of various ophthalmic societies throughout the world. He received the Lucien Howe Medal of the American Ophthalmological Society in 1980 and was Chief Editor of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

The FC Blodi Eye Pathology Laboratory, University of Iowa, Department of Ophthalmology, is named in his honour.

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