• Remembering William S. Tasman, MD, 1929-2017


    Our Scope newsletter will never be quite the same. For years, indeed for most of the life of the newsletter, we have been richly entertained by the diverse interests, knowledge and good humor of the articles by Associate Editor William S. Tasman, MD. In late March 2017, we lost our friend and esteemed colleague at the age of 88.

    William S. Tasman, MD (1929-2017)
    William S. Tasman, MD (1929-2017);

    Of course, Dr. Tasman will be remembered for far more than his contributions to our newsletter. Bill completed his residency in ophthalmology at Wills Eye Hospital, where he would later serve as ophthalmologist-in-chief from 1985 to 2009. Following a retina fellowship at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, he founded Mid-Atlantic Retina in 1974.

    In addition to his prowess as an astute clinician, skilled surgeon, gifted administrator and beloved educator, who trained 161 residents and 199 retinal fellows, Bill was one of the seminal leaders in ophthalmology of our generation. He served as president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Ophthalmological Society and the Retina Society and was a director of the American Board of Ophthalmology. He served on the Board of the Foundation of the Academy, as well as the American Diabetes Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and as a Trustee of the Edmund B. Spaeth Foundation.

    But those of us who were privileged to know Bill, will not only remember him for his remarkable contributions to our profession, but also as a humble, generous and gracious person who enriched all our lives. And we can never think of Bill without his lovely wife, Alice Lea, by his side. Our hearts are with her and all the Tasman family.   

    -- M. Bruce Shields, MD
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    William S. Tasman’s name is missing from this edition’s masthead.  Scope was just one of many ships from whose peak his pennant streamed. Wills Eye, the Academy, the board, the American Ophthalmological Society, the Retina Society among others all flew his flag and were set on course by his steady hand at the wheel. As an associate editor, Scope gave him a wider audience for his historical vignettes. But long before Scope, those of us whom he entertained by his recreations of Sir Winston’s wit knew that we were in the presence of one who dug in library archives and enjoyed reminding us of those steps and misteps that influence our present.  As his pennant comes down with bugle sounding, we salute him and his extensive contributions to us and to that written archive.  

    -- W. Banks Anderson Jr., MD