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George Bartisch: An Inventive Look Into Ophthalmodouleia

Image of George Bartisch

Image of George Bartisch

 

Buying a pair of glasses is something that has become quite common, and most times can even be done over the internet. Beyond a routine checkup, more serious ocular issues may suggest a trip to the local ophthalmologist, but even that is often quite convenient due to technology and medical advances. Typically you can be diagnosed and treated within a few visits. These simple luxuries are available to us because of the extraordinary research, practices, and innovations of a German physician, George Bartisch.

Born in 1535 and growing up in a poor lower class family, Bartisch was not expected to reach the level of knowledge and expertise that he did. He longed to learn and know more, especially in the area of medicine. Because his family could not afford to send him to a formal school to satisfy his passion, he found an outlet that would suffice, and even grow, his innate knowledge about the human body, particularly the eye. He became an apprentice for a barber surgeon in Dresden at the age of 13. This was followed by two additional apprenticeships to an oculist and a lithotomist.  Through these apprenticeships, he was able to become a successful wound surgeon, lithotomist, oculist, and teacher of surgical anatomy.

Being extremely influenced by the culture around him, Bartisch brought his knowledge of quirky superstitions, magic, astrology, and witchcraft into his research of the eye. Believing there were certain stellar constellations that were favorable for the eye was one of his assumptions. He accredited many malformations and diseases of the eye to such things as devils, spells, hexes, and curses, attributing human suffering and pain to punishment for sins by the devil. He could tie any disease which caused pain back to things he believed were sins. For example, his etiology for presbyopia was excessive use of alcohol. He took an interest in hot and cold witchcraft, treating patients according to which one he believed they were suffering from. It is improbable, however, that you would see any of these methods in practice today.
The majority of his knowledge was acquired from one of his 3 teachers, Abraham Meyscheider being one that he mentions specifically. After he had cultivated his abilities during his apprenticeships, he became an itinerant surgeon for the regions of Saxony, Selisia, and Bohemia. Bartisch became so well-known and respected he was appointed court oculist for Duke Augustus I of Saxony and settled in Dresden. Though he was an advocate for improving ocular health and vision, he was a huge adversary of spectacles and eye glasses. Bartisch believed that it was impossible and almost insulting to try and improve such an intricate organ’s function by sliding a piece of magnifying glass in front of it. In his theories glasses proved to weaken the patient’s vision. His treatments always stemmed from a more organic viewpoint.

George Bartisch, who is labeled the father of ophthalmology, left a huge footprint on this field by writing Ophthalmodouleia, an opthalmologic text-book. It was the first German book on ocular disease and surgery and included 92 exhaustive wood cuts. Many of these diagrams and illustrations were layered to act as flaps that could be lifted to emulate dissection, illustrating a variety of ocular diseases, surgery methodology, and instruments. Some of these you can find recreated in posters, paintings, and other reference books of the field.

Published in 1583, Ophthalmodouleia is overwhelming with ocular knowledge. Starting from the most basic concepts of head and face, it then travels to in depth illustration of eye anatomy. Bartisch demonstrates his breadth of knowledge as he addresses more complex topics such as strabismus, cataracts, external disease, and trauma, including his theories on diagnosing and treating cataracts by color. The intensive explanation of each disease is followed by the discussion of herbal remedies and prescriptions, which were popular in that time, and surgery options that easily make this book the Web MD of the ocular world for its time period.

It is an honor to have an original first edition of the actual book Ophthalmodouleia  here in our P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library. The large elegant script and illustrious drawings can penetrate any language barrier and captivate attention in appreciation of the beauty of this work. Though the original copy is printed in 16th century German dialect, the field of ophthalmology owes great appreciation to J.P. Waynebrough for publishing Donald L. Blanchard’s English translation in 1996 as part of the History of Ophthalmology series.  The Nixon Library also owns this translation.

Photographs of  our copy of Ophthalmodouleia:

 

Photograph of  Ophthalmodouleia, page 93

Photograph of Ophthalmodouleia, page 93

 

 

Photograph of Ophthalmodouleia, page 63

Photograph of Ophthalmodouleia, page 63

 

 

 

Photograph of Ophthalmodouleia, page 143

Photograph of Ophthalmodouleia, page 143

 

For more information on the Nixon Library or to set up an appointment to visit the library, contact Anne Comeaux, comeaux@uthscsa.edu or 210-567-2428 or Mellisa DeThorne, dethorne@uthscsa.edu or 210-567-2470.

 

Come take a look,
Tressica Thomas B.S., SLP-A
DEHS Student- School of Medicine

Sources:

Blanchard, Donalld. “Superstitions of George Bartisch.” Science Direct. Survey of Opthalmalogy, 1 Jan. 2005. Web. 13 Jan. 2015. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0039625705000871

“Georg Bartisch.” Whonamedit -. Ole Daniel Enerson. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.
http://www.whonamedit.com/doctor.cfm/1297.html

Mannis, Mark. “George Bartisch.” George Bartisch. American Journal of Ophthalmology. Web. 13 Jan. 2015. http://www.history-ophthalmology.com/BartischREVIEW.html

Portrait of George Bartisch courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Bartisch

 

 

Google Collaboration Tools: Technology Brownbag Session

Wednesday, November 10Google Docs

12 noon to 1:00 p.m.

Howe Conference Room, Briscoe Library

Join us for a brown bag session to learn how Google Docs, featuring free online document development including Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations and Forms, can work for you.  Key features of Google Docs include file upload from your desktop, the ability to edit and view your docs from any computer or smart phone and real-time on-the-fly collaboration.

Bring your lunch and join your colleagues at Google Collaboration Tools.

For more information, contact Katie Prentice, Head of Education and Information Services, at prenticek@uthscsa.edu

Great Medical Yearbook Site

The library’s new Medical Yearbook site looks great, Andrea. You guys have done a great job on this.

Health Science Center recognizes two members of the library staff for their years of service

Patrick Lemelle and Louie Barcenes both received service awards in October.

Patrick Lemelle and Louie Barcenes both received service awards in October.

Two members of the library staff received milestone service awards in October:

Patrick Lemelle, Senior Outreach Library Assistant, received his 20 year service award.

Louie Barcenes, Senior Library Clerical Assistant, received his 25 year service award.

We congratulate Patrick and Louie on their service to the UT System and at the University of Texas Health Science Center!

 

 

Historical and Special Collections

P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

The P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library houses a collection of approximately 5000 rare and classic texts in the history of medicine, nursing, dentistry and other health care disciplines, dating from the 15th to the early 20th centuries. The Nixon Library is named after Dr. Pat Ireland Nixon, a distinguished San Antonio physician and historian who worked determinedly to build an exceptional medical history collection.

5th floor of the Briscoe Library
Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

University Archives

The University Archives contain publications, papers, and other records that document the history of the Health Science Center and the history of medicine in the San Antonio and south Texas area. The Archives provides a reference service for the Health Science Center community and a repository for the preservation of historically important University records. Included in the collection are University publications, correspondence of key officials, minutes, student yearbooks, papers of early San Antonio physicians and more.

Two nursing students in class, 1978

Digital Archive

The Digital Archives is a growing collection of digitized images, documents, and unique materials from the UT Health Science Center collections.

Visit the Digital Archive


Images

  • Image of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library
  • A class during the Fall of 1978. Nursing School Yearbook, 1980.
  • Andreas Vesalius, De humani corporis fabrica libri septem, 1543.

Holiday Hours for Briscoe, Ramirez and Laredo Libraries

The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio Libraries will follow Winter Break hours starting on Friday, December 19. While the libraries will be closed from December 20-29, access to databases, E-Books, and E-Journal articles will continue to be available. To get to the full text of online books and journals, click on the Off Campus Login button on the library home page.

Holiday Hours

Dolph Briscoe Jr. Library

Mario E. Ramirez, M.D. Library

Laredo Regional Campus Library

 

On behalf of the librarians and staff of the UTHSC Libraries, we wish you safe and joyful holidays, and a very happy new year.

 

Hotel Information

Hotel Accommodations in San Antonio

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has negotiated a block of rooms at special discounted room rates. Rooms are subject to availability, so reserve early.

La Quinta Inns & Suites

4431 Horizon Hill Blvd
San Antonio, TX  78229
Phone: 210-525-8090

The following complimentary services are available:                       

  • Shuttle to and from airport and UT Health Science Center Main campus
  • Full hot breakfast
  • Internet access
  • Parking
  • 24-hour Business & Fitness Center

Reservations must be made by January 31, 2013 to receive the following rate:

Room Rate: Single/Double: $85 (plus tax)

  Use this event name to get the discounted rate: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

 

Guarantee: Attendees will need a valid credit card to make the reservation.

 

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. HHSN-276—2011-00007-C with the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library.

How to Landscape to Your Environment- Friday at noon in the Briscoe Library

Landscaping on the Long CampusMother-in-laws, Willows and Green Chile Stew:

How to Landscape to Your Environment

Friday, July 26, Noon to 1 p.m.

Howe Conference Room, 5th floor, Briscoe Library

The Libraries and Facilities Management will host a program at noon on Friday, July 26, for anyone who shares an interest in  planting and maintaining beautiful, drought-tolerant landscapes like those on our campus. Dave Brahm, Manager of Landscape and Grounds for the UT Health Science Center, will discuss how to use a diverse palate of native plant material to create a colorful landscape that is durable and suited to our climate.

Brahm, who has been the grounds manager at the Health Science Center for 25 years, has a Masters of Science degree in Horticulture from Iowa State University and is a State of Texas licensed irrigator.

The program is open to everyone, and attendees are invited to bring their lunches.

Susan Hunnicutt, Special Projects Librarian

IOM releases report on the CTSA Program at NIH

iom_logoThe Institute of Medicine has released a report, The CTSA Program at NIH:  Opportunities for Advancing Clinical and Translational Research, evaluating the NIH’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program.  The IOM committee finds that “the CTSA program is contributing significantly to advancing clinical and translational research, and recommends a number of revisions that could make the program more efficient and effective and could ensure future successes. If enacted, these changes would help establish the CTSA Program as the national leader for advancing innovative and transformative clinical and translational research.” The recommendations include updating the program’s leadership structure, mission and goals.

A brief of the full report can be found on the website of the Institute of Medicine.

The pre-publication report, can be accessed through the library’s catalog.

The CTSA program is administered by the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).

Laredo Regional Campus 2014 Aging Conference

 

 

Citizens of Laredo and South Texas attended the 2014 Aging Conference held on March 29 at the Laredo Regional Campus. The Annual “Stay Healthier Longer Conference Series” features experts in the field of aging, as well as demonstrations on healthy living. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. The program focus this year was on Nutrition – Its Impact on Heart Disease, Diabetes and Memory. Attendees were provided with interactive demonstrations on healthy eating, growing your own gardening tips, staying physically active and health promotion and disease prevention guides.

The Regional Campus continues a tradition of service to the communities of the Rio Grande Valley through many local outreach programs and conferences that focus on the changes needed to reduce obesity and diabetes which are so prevalent across the region.

The UT Health Science Center Libraries provided an exhibit table and display for the Conference. The Libraries promoted awareness of the wide array of free consumer health resources available from the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health. The Laredo Regional Campus Library was also open to community residents attending the conference who took the opportunity to complete their enrollment for the Affordable Care Act.