What You Leave Behind
On the second anniversary of Jack J. Kanski’s death, we celebrate his legacy
Aleksandra Jones | | Quick Read
Two years ago, on January 5, 2019, ophthalmology lost one of its greatest figures – Jack Jerzy Kanski. His magnum opus, Clinical Ophthalmology: A Systematic Approach, first published in 1984 (but updated many times and translated into multiple languages), has been called “the bible of ophthalmology.” The chosen textbook of ophthalmology students and residents, it takes pride of place at many hospitals, practices and academic institutions.
Andrzej Grzybowski, Professor of Ophthalmology and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland, remembers the ophthalmic legend. “Although nearly everybody knows Kanski’s ophthalmology textbooks, few know that he was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1939, and left the country with his mother when he was seven years old. They crossed a green border and eventually reached Great Britain, where Kanski spent the rest of his life. Although he lived away from Poland, he actively supported Polish ophthalmology, inviting young Polish ophthalmologists to train in the UK under his guidance during the communist era and contributing to many ophthalmology meetings in Poland.”
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