March 26, 2019

The 42nd Annual E. B. Spaeth Oration and Dinner


Join us for the 42nd Annual E. B. Spaeth Oration and Dinner

The oration entitled "The Inquisitive Physician" will be given by Alfred Sommer, MD, MHSDean Emeritus of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Professor of Epidemiology and International Health at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; and Professor of Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute

Over the past 50 years, Dr. Sommer has worked in academic medicine in the U.S. and worked in over a dozen countries. In nearly every one, he has found much about disease and health to be inquisitive about, and gained insights that have changed health policy and clinical practice.

6:30-7:00pm Cocktail and hor d'oeuvres Reception
7:00-7:45pm Oration by Dr. Alfred Sommer
7:45-9:30pm Dinner
Professional or cocktail attire.

ABOUT Edmund B. Spaeth & the Oration
E. B. Spaeth was the 8th child fathered by a Lutheran Minister in Tonawanda, a poor suburb of Buffalo, New York. "Ned" started working various jobs when he was fourteen to pay the costs of living at home. His father told him he would become a minister, but he refused, which did not sit well. Ned went from high school directly to the University of Buffalo Medical School and from there to France as a field surgeon in WWI. He returned to Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he developed techniques for treating the massive burns common to soldiers in the tanks.

He published what may be the first book on plastic surgery and was one of the founders of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Many of the cases he treated involved the face and orbit. He went to Vienna to learn about ophthalmology, and returned to found the American Board of Oculoplastic Surgery.

After starting the Department of Ophthalmology at Walter Reed, he moved to Philadelphia in 1929, where he became Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Temple, Chief at Wills Eye Hospital, and later Chief of the Graduate School of Ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania. His book on Ophthalmic Surgery; Principles and Practice, became the standard text worldwide and went through four editions. But, he was not an academician.

Firstly, he was a courageous person and surgeon, a great surgical innovator, a beloved teacher and deeply committed family man to his wife and four sons. He was brutally honest and abhorred incompetence, laziness, and gossip. He was most of all a passionate teacher and an almost fearless human of enormous vigor.

The mission of the Spaeth Oration is to preserve his values, and to inspire others to live honestly, take risks, not be petty, and contribute positively--especially students, residents and fellows.

The E.B. Spaeth Oration will be held at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia at 19 S. 22nd, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

For Sponsorship Opportunities and Program Ads, please contact Jillian Stahl at or (215) 399-2342

For all Question & Concerns, contact Jillian Stahl at or (215) 399-2342


The Mütter Museum helps the public appreciate the mysteries and beauty of the human body while understanding the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease.

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