Jonathan Trobe

Jonathan D. Trobe, MD
Professor of Ophthalmology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery
University of Michigan

I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA) in 1943. At age 4, I moved with my family to Europe, where my father directed services to Holocaust survivors. I attended international schools in Vienna, Geneva, Rome, and Paris, graduating from high school in 1960. In that time, I have learned and forgotten many languages

I returned to the USA in 1960 to attend Harvard College. In high school and in college, my piece of mind was interrupted by herpes simplex keratitis, which led to a corneal transplant and the decision to become an ophthalmologist. I graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1968. After a 1-year internship in internal medicine at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago, I began a 3-year residency in ophthalmology at the Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia, where I was chief resident in my final year.

Drafted into the military with all my medical school classmates in 1972, I served for 2 years as an ophthalmologist in the United States Air Force at Andrews Air Force Base, Washington, D. There I had the opportunity to perform 10 penetrating keratoplasties. They turned out well enough to propel me toward a career as a corneal surgeon.

I entered a fellowship in corneal diseases at the University of Florida and then joined the faculty there, becoming chief of the ophthalmology service at the adjacent Veterans Administration Hospital. The neurologists drew me into their inpatient rounds, and soon I became intrigued enough to turn to neuro-ophthalmology. After a neuro-ophthalmology fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, I returned to the University of Florida to direct the neuro-ophthalmology service. But I opted for more neurology training, so In 1983, I gave up my tenured faculty position to complete a residency in neurology at the University of Miami.

When that was done in 1986, I accepted a faculty position with joint appointments in ophthalmology, neurology, and neurosurgery at the University of Michigan, where I have been for 35 years as director of the neuro-ophthalmology and inpatient ophthalmology consultation services, taking great pleasure in teaching and mentoring neuro-ophthalmology fellows, ophthalmology, neurology, and neurosurgery residents, and medical students.

I am board-certified in ophthalmology and neurology. I have first-authored or co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and first-authored or co-authored eight books, including The Physician's Guide to Eye Care (American Academy of Ophthalmology), The Field Guide to the Eyes (Lippincott); The Neurology of Vision (Oxford), Clinical Decisions in Neuro-Ophthalmology (Mosby), and Rapid Diagnosis in Neuro-Ophthalmology (Elsevier). I am the author of a website covering general ophthalmology called The Eyes Have It and a website on neuro-ophthalmology called Neuro-Ophthalmology At Your Fingertips.

I am associate editor for neuro-ophthalmology of the online general medical resources called Up To Date and Medlink Neurology. I served as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology, the official journal of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society, from 2001 to 2010.