Skip to main content

Our History

Dr. David A Rosen

Ophthalmology started as a defined department at Queen’s and its affiliated hospitals when it separated from the ENT in 1954. I was the first head of the fledgling department. The principal efforts in my starting years were the organization of the undergraduate curriculum, the development of clinical and surgical facilities, and the search for new faculty. At that time, while individuals had areas of special interest and training, we were all trained to be and practiced as general ophthalmologists. 

The organization of the ophthalmology residency program began in 1957. Lacking a critical mass of faculty and patients in Kingston, we organized a “partnership” with the University of Ottawa and the two major Ottawa Hospitals. The first residents were from Mexico (Alberto Warman), England (Godfrey Gransden), and Wales (Tony Griffiths). Those who followed were primarily graduates of Queen’s and other Canadian Medical Schools. They were recruited and appointed by Queen’s, and their training time was divided between Kingston and Ottawa. 

After some four years of experience, we and our Ottawa colleagues felt confident and competent to proceed separately. Our residency was repatriated to the Kingston Campus and soon expanded to two appointments each year. At each stage we were able to satisfy the training requirements of the of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. For several years we offered a fourth year of training, either in research or in a combined ophthalmic and neuro-pathology program, the latter in collaboration with David Robertson of the Department of Pathology. 

Key to the rapid and successful development of the residency program were the arrival on our staff of Jean de Margerie who came from training in Edinburgh and a Rhodes Scholarship, Ronald Pinkerton who had received a glaucoma fellowship with Morton Grant at Harvard, and Tsuyoshi (Go) Yamashita, an ophthalmic pathologist who came to us for a few years from Washington University, St. Louis. John Morgan, a Toronto alumnus, joined us when he completed his term in the RCAF with a special interest in contact lenses, and Wendell Willis followed after his corneal fellowship at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. With their arrival, a satellite ophthalmology department was opened at the Hotel Dieu Hospital. Robert Perry, one of our Queen’s residents returned as a pediatric ophthalmologist after his post-residency fellowship with Arthur Jampolsky in San Francisco, as did Raymond Bell following a fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology at the University of Iowa. 

The Queen’s program primarily attracted graduates of Canadian medical schools. Those who went through the program during my years as head went on to establish practices in Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal, Cornwall, Belleville, Trenton, Orillia, Brantford, Chatham, several British Columbia cities, and elsewhere. 

This basically was the department until 1973. In that year I asked to be relieved of my administrative responsibilities and received a sabbatical leave during which I was a Visiting Professor at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School and the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, England. Ronald Pinkerton succeeded me as Department Head. When I returned in 1974 I was allowed to pursue my interests in medical retinal disease, ophthalmic pathology and teaching. In 1978 I accepted an academic post in New York, left Kingston and became part of Queen’s history! 

I look upon it as the defining privilege of my professional life to have been allowed the opportunity, the encouragement and the resources to develop an excellent and well recognized ophthalmology residency. Long may it flourish! 

David A. Rosen 

Dr Ronald M H Pinkerton

In 1973, I took over the Headship of the Department of Ophthalmology from David Rosen. 

Graduate education in Ophthalmology was one of my main interests and I built on our previous strengths. We provided our residents with a strong base of clinical experience, and developed clear statements of expectations and responsibilities for each level of trainee. 

A structured academic program based on the excellent American Academy of Ophthalmology course was completed in two year cycles of 4–5 seminars series each year. We consciously avoided the use of outside courses (with the notable exception of Ophthalmic Pathology and the AFIP) and relied on our own staff in each specialty to be the seminar directors (an onerous duty which was accepted with good grace). Visiting ‘experts' were brought in at the end of each seminar series to present updates, clarify problems (if possible) and to give another's view to the topic. It was a stimulating way to teach and learn and demanded significant preparation time from both residents and seminar directors. 

These were: 

Dr. R.A. Bell (Neuropath and Ophthamologic Pathology) 
Dr. A.F. Cruess (Retina) 
Dr. J.F. Morgan (External Disease, contact lenses, optics and refraction) 
Dr. R.J. Perry and subsequently Dr. B.W. Arthur (Pediatrics and Motility) 
Dr. R.M.H. Pinkerton (Glaucoma) 
Dr. D.A. Rosen (Retina and Ophthalmologic Pathology) 
Dr. W.E. Willis (Cornea and Anterior Segment) 
Resident attendance and participation was mandatory at the seminar series and was encouraged at national and international meetings. Funding for these meetings was supported by Queen's alumni, Dr. Ernie Johnson of Calgary, and Dr. David Barsky of Detroit. 

Drs. J.E.R. Gauthier, A.Y. Kerr, R.D. Macklin, and G.A. Taylor gave many hours of clinical teaching, seminar series, and especially surgical supervision in the O.R.. They provided enthusiastic and strong role modeling for the residents. Dr. Taylor's long active association with ORBIS brought the program a strong awareness of international and 3rd world needs and practice of ophthalmology. 

Dr. Vlad Kratky, a graduate of the Toronto program, joined the department in the late 80s and developed a strong ocular/plastic surgery program. 

Many of the staff became examiners for the Royal College. Our residents were found to be well prepared, and all were successful in passing their Fellowship examinations. With this reputation, we had little difficulty in obtaining prestigious subspecialty Fellowships. 

Our graduates of the period 1973–1991 have practiced with distinction across Canada and in sundry U.S. cities. At the time of this writing, two are currently holding headships in major Canadian universities—Dr. Alan Cruess (Dalhousie), and Dr. Fred Mikelberg (Univ. of B.C.) 

Research was formally carried out in the early years by Dr. J.F. Morgan. He developed an international reputation in contact lens technology and pharmacology. 

Most residents undertook a research project with a staff member which was ultimately presented at the appropriate COS section meetings or the Canadian Ophthalmologic Pathology Study Group. This research was used as a teaching tool. 

Subsequent to the return of Dr. A.F. Cruess in 1983, he organized and completed one of the first multicentred collaborating clinical trails in Canada on the treatment of retinal macular lesions. This study launched his international career in retinal disease. It also produced one of the best ocular photographic units in the country. 

We held (when finances allowed it) annual symposia with invited local Canadian and international faculty. There were excellent events that were well attended and did much to reduce our relative academic isolation in Kingston and also served as a showpiece for the department. 

The presence of well-trained and committed nursing, ophthalmic technical and secretarial staff emphasized and proved the value of team work in the clinical setting. Their long and loyal service contributed greatly to the camaraderie of those days. No birthday was forgotten, or success overlooked.

After 18 years of headship, I stepped down in 1991. I have many happy memories of the personalities and rigors of those years. Dr. A.F. Cruess succeeded me as the Head of the Department. 

Writing this short account in 2004, the 50th Anniversary year of the founding of the Department, I wish all current members the strength and vigor to continue with the enthusiasm and commitment to serve, teaching and research with which it has been endowed. 

Ronald Pinkerton

Dr Alan Cruess

Dr. Alan Cruess assumes the leadership of the department

Dr Sherif el Defrawy

Dr Sherif El Defrawy assumes the leadership of the department

Dr Martin W ten Hove

Dr Martin ten Hove assumes leadership of the department

Since our beginnings, we have trained over 75 ophthalmologists who have gone on to practice both in Canada and elsewhere.  For a complete list of our alumni, read further. 

Name                                    Year        Location
Zainab Khan 2017                           Montreal, QC                                  
Zale Mednick 2017 Toronto, ON
Kunyong Xu 2017  New York City , New York
Ashley Brissette 2016 New York City, New York
Amaka Eneh 2016 Toronto, ON
Gary Yau 2016 Toronto, ON
Jonathan Hurst 2015 Peterborough, ON
Christine Law 2015 Kingston, ON
Davin Johnson 2015 Kingston, ON
Walter Liao 2014 Toronto, ON
Eddie Moss 2014 Victoria, BC
Daniel Warder 2014 Victoria, BC
David Almeida 2013 Charlotte, NC
Michel Belliveau  2013 Ottawa, ON
Mark Bona 2012 Kingston, ON
Kelly Schweitzer 2012 Saskatoon, SK
Christina Leung 2011 Windsor, ON
Jacky Yeung 2011 Peterborough, ON
Hussein Hollands 2010 Vancouver, BC
Jonathan Wong 2010 Calgary, AB
Sylvia Rodriguez 2009 Guelph, ON
Yi Ning Strube 2009 Kingston, ON
Mark Fava 2008 Hamilton, ON
Delan Jinapriya 2008 Kingston, ON
Alejandro Oliver 2008 Timmins, ON
Todd Urton 2007 Kingston, ON
Brett Williams 2007 St. John's, NF
Paul Denton 2006 Vancouver, BC
Dwight Silvera 2006 Iowa City, Iowa
Olivia Dam 2005 Victoria, BC
Khalid Hasanee 2005 Burlington, ON
Tony Carlsson 2004 Medicine Hat, AB
Todd MacEachren 2004 St. John's, NF
Stephanie Baxter 2003 Kingston, ON
Karim Punja 2003 Calgary, AB
Jennifer Rahman 2002 Winnipeg, MB
Rajinder Rathee 2001 Toronto, ON
Christine Suess 2001 Cornwall, ON
John Cheung 2000 Kingston, ON
Kevin Lachapelle 2000 Trenton, ON
Robin Walker 1999 Newmarket, ON
Ian Walwyn 1999 Antigua, British Leeward Islands
Jamie Vahdat 1998 St. Catherines, ON
Stephen Brodovsky 1996 Winnipeg, MB
David Maberley 1996 Vancouver, BC
Robert Chevrier 1995 Gloucester, ON
Steven Emon 1995 Orillia, ON
Sanjay Sharma 1995 Kingston, ON
Terence Sakamoto 1994  Belleville, ON
Daniel McGillivray 1993 Burlington, ON
Martin ten Hove 1993 Kingston, ON
Andrew Davies 1992 Belleville, ON
Athanasius Ro 1992 Oshawa, ON
George Beiko 1991 St. Catherines, ON
Ranjit Dhaliwal 1991 Augusta, Georgia
Joseph Parisi 1990 Clemson, South Carolina
Hossam Yassein 1990 Oshawa, ON
Edmund Liang 1989 Richmond Hill, ON
Simon Warner 1989 Vancouver, BC
Curtis Sorgini 1988 Sudbury, ON
James Underhill 1988 Saskaton, SK
Robert Beauchene 1987 Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Donald Nixon 1987 Orillia, ON
Robert Johnson 1986 Guelph, ON
Robert Singer 1986 Burlington, ON
Brian Arthur 1985 Kingston, ON
Daniel Sharp 1985 Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Robert McMahon 1984 Chatham, ON
Steven Poleski 1984 Ottawa, ON
Gerald Scaife 1983 St. Catherines, ON
John Thrope 1983 Simcoe, ON
Jana Janda 1982 Kamloops, BC
Frederick Mikelberg 1982 Vancouver, BC
Michael Price 1981 Malden, Massachesetts
Alan Cruess 1980 Halifax, NS
Greg Hay 1980 New Westminster, BC
Robert Amy 1979 Oakville, ON
John Bayne 1979 Delta, BC
Ann Hoskin-Mott 1978 Halifax, NS
David Silver 1978 Montreal, QC
Paul Thompson 1977 Saudi Arabia
Donald Whiteman 1977 Trenton, ON
Garth Taylor 1976 Deceased
Robert Wener 1976 Marietta, Georgia
Raymond Bell 1975 Victoria, BC
R. David Macklin 1975 Kingston, ON
Perry Maerov 1974 North Vancouver, BC
Ed Patterson 1974 Victoria, BC
David Edmison 1973 Ottawa, ON
Allan Kerr 1973 Kingston, ON
Bruce Engel 1972 Nepean, ON
E. Catherine Swan 1972 Brantford, ON
Lee Solomon 1971 Montreal, QC
N. Roy Mesaglio 1970 Brantford, ON
Donald Vanderburg 1968 Orillia, ON
Adrian Ten Cate 1967 Brockville, ON
Howard Tanenbaum 1966 Albany, New York
Jerry Szeps 1965 Chatham, ON
John Valberg 1964 Brantford, ON
Edward Griffiths 1963 Yonkers, New York
Godfrey Gransden 1962 Whales, United Kingdom
Alberto Warman 1961 Gelati, Mexico 

 In memory of Dr. Garth Taylor 

"Until I have a breath to breathe, I will continue to do this [ophthalmology and international ophthalmology] because I think I was chosen for this...” 

Dr. Garth Taylor was a world-renowned ophthalmologist and faculty member at the Queen's University Department of Ophthalmology for over 25 years.

Dr. Taylor graduated from medical school at the University of West Indies in 1970.  From there, he went on to complete an ophthalmology residency at Queen's in 1976, and then a fellowship in Cornea and External Disease at Miami in 1977.

Dr. Taylor will be remembered by all as an excellent ophthalmologist, a wonderful educator, and an all-round good person.  Although much of his career was based in Kingston and Cornwall, Dr. Taylor was heavily involved in international ophtahlmology through organizations such as ORBIS.  He is especially known for his charitable contributions in preventing blindness in his native Jamaica.  All students and residents who worked with Dr. Taylor remember him for his genuine love for ophthalmology that was evident in his excellent teaching sessions.  Dr. Taylor was a warm, generous man with an unbridled enthusiasm for life.

Sadly, Dr. Taylor passed away suddenly in November of 2005.  However, his memories will stay with this Department and all who were touched by him forever.  As a tribute to him, the Dr. Garth Taylor Memorial Fund has been initiated in his honour by the Department of Ophthalmology at Queen's University. To donate to this fund, please contact

To learn more about this exceptional person, please see the following coverage: 

The Guardian

The Toronto Star

The Ambassadors (online magazine)