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John Elmer Weeks

Born 1853
Died 1949

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American ophthalmologist, born August 9, 1853, Painesville, Ohio; died February 2, 1949, La Jolla, California.

Biography of John Elmer Weeks

John Elmer Weeks received his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1881. He interned at the Alms House and Workhouse Hospital on Welfare Island, New York. He became a clinical assistant in 1882. In 1884 he spent a year taking postgraduate studies at the University of Berlin. In 1885 he became a resident physician and in 1887 an assistant surgeon at the Ophthalmic and Aural Institute under Herman Knapp (1832-1911). In 1886 he isolated the bacillus causing epidemic conjunctivitis, Koch-Weeks bacillus.

Weeks was chief of clinic at the Vanderbilt Clinic, College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1888-1890, lecturer on diseases of the eye at Bellevue Hospital Medical College, 1890-1900, and subsequently was professor at this college until 1920, when he became a consultant surgeon.

Weeks was an excellent surgeon and wrote two textbooks on the eye, one of which was a standard text for many years. He was one of the founders of the Board of Ophthalmology. Weeks received wide acclaim for his manual dexterity and for his method of reconstructing the orbital socket and surgical treatment of glaucoma and cataracts.

Weeks travelled extensively as a much sought after lecturer. He received wide acclaim for his manual dexterity and for his method of reconstructing the orbital socket and surgical treatment of glaucoma and cataracts.

He retired to Portland, Oregon, where he rapidly became prominent in the University of Oregon Medical School, donating the funds – $ 100,000 – for a library building. He was a keen fisherman and golfer. In 1890 he married Jennie Post Parker, they had one daughter, Eveline Weeks Mount.

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