Frederick William Stocker
Swiss-American ophthalmologist, born October 14, 1893, Luzern, Switzerland; died December 1, 1974.
Biography of Frederick William StockerFrederick William Stocker was the son of a well-known Swiss ophthalmologist. He attended the public schools of Lcerne, the University of Geneva, and received the M.D. degree from the University of Berne in 1917. The years of his ophthalmic training were spent at the University Eye Clinic in Munich with professor Carl von Hess (1863-1923) and at the University Eye Clinic in Bern with professor August Siegrist (1865-1947). He practices many years in Lucerne and became President of the Swiss Ophthalmic Society.
In 1941, Stocker immigrated to the United States and worked at the Institute of ophthalmology, Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia Universitt and the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.
In 1942, he joined the staff of the McPherson Hospital (established in 1926 by Samuel Dace McPherson, 1873-1953), where he practiced for 32 years. He also served as Professor of Ophthalmology at Duke University and Associate Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of North Carolina. During World War II he was chairman of the International Medical Commission for examination of prisoners of war in the United States and Canada under the Geneva Convention.
In addition to memberships in the usual local and state societies, Stocker was a diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology, Ophthalmological Society of Panama (honorary member), Colombian Society of ophthalmology and Otolaryngology (corresponding member), and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Stocker first reported successful penetrating keratoplasty for Fuchs’ dystrophy and developed a large practice in corneal surgery. His primary interest remained in anterior segment surgery and is reflected in his publications which number over 100. His thesis for the American Ophthalmological Society, ”The Corneal Endothelium and its Clinical Implications,” was published as a monograph and was a popular reference work for many years.
The move in middle years to a new country would be a trying experience for most, but for Stocker it was just another challenge which he accepted cheerfully. Ha rapidly integrated himself into American life and made a very real place for himself in his community. As befitted a Swiss, mountain climbing and later hiking were his gold and tennis. He was a man of varied interests in literature, music and art. He was the author of ”Arnold Munzinger, Painter-Industrialist.” He was married to Mary Ann Steiner of Malters, Switzerland on August 1, 1929. They had three daughters.
Stocker was a dedicated and stimulating teacher who made a major impact on the careers of those young men who were fortunate enough to work with him.
Samuel D. McPherson, Jr, 1919-1998:
Frederick William Stocker, MD.
Transactions of the American Ophthalmological Society, 1975, 73: 10-11.