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Dorde Nešić – the founder of Serbian Ophthalmology

Balkan and Serbian Ophthalmology was created and influenced by many important and interesting contributors, but here we profile Professor Dorde Nešić who was the founder of ophthalmology in Serbia

Andrzej Grzybowski

Posted: Thursday, February 8, 2018

Professor Dorde Nešić

Dorde Nešić was born in 1873 in Šabac, where he graduated from the Secondary School in 1890. In the same year, he entered the Faculty of Medicine in Moscow. He became a teaching assistant to Professor Adrian Aleksandrovich Kryukov (1849-1908), simultaneously working at the University Institute of Physics and Mathematics.

In 1896, he graduated from the University as a Doctor of Medicine at the age of 23. That same year, he established the Department of Ophthalmology at the Military Hospital in Belgrade. In 1901, he moved to the Department of Ophthalmology at the General State Hospital, in which in 1904 he was appointed Head of the Department of Ophthalmology.

From 1904-05 he participated in the Russian-Japanese war as a volunteer, and from 1912-1918 he served as a reserve medical corps officer in the Balkan Wars and the First World War.

From 1916 to 1918, he was Commander of the First Field Surgical Hospital of the Second Army in Dragomanci, at the Salonika Front.

In 1918, he published a paper, in which he refuted the then assumption on contagiousness of night blindness (nyctalopia) and proposed treatment for this disorder. Among his medical technology inventions, the most prominent were the giant electromagnets for extracting metallic foreign bodies from the eye and from the body as well as the syringe for injecting biogenic stimulators. He contributed also to the fight against trachoma, which was widespread at that time in different parts of Europe.

In 1921 he was appointed the Head of the newly established Ophthalmology Clinic and Professor of Ophthalmology at the Faculty of Medicine in Belgrade. He was a Dean of the Medical faculty there in 1924-25, 1930-31 and 1931-32. During WWII he was suspended, but continued his work at the Clinic without the approval of the occupier. In 1945, he was reappointed as the Professor at the Faculty and the Head of the Ophthalmology Clinic.

He retired at the age of 82 and died in Belgrade in 1959.

* This article was written and researched by Andrzej Grzybowski, MD, PhD, MBA, Professor of Ophthalmology, Chair of Ophthalmology, University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland, Head of the Institute for Research in Ophthalmology, Poznan, Poland

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