Marshall M. Parks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Marshall Miller Parks (July 6, 1918 – July 25, 2005) was an American ophthalmologist known to many as "the father of pediatric ophthalmology".[1]

Early life[edit]

Parks was born in Old Mission, Michigan to Ruth E. and Reuben Elvin Parks.[2] In 1939, he earned a BS from Illinois College and in 1943 graduated from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine.[2] His success in medical school gained him induction into Alpha Omega Alpha Society.[3] During World War II, Parks served as a medical officer on destroyers in the United States Navy,[2] including the USS Gamble and USS Terror during the battle of Iwo Jima.[4]

Professional career[edit]

Parks studied under the guidance of Frank D. Costenbader, the first ophthalmologist to dedicate his practice solely to the care of children.[5] At Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C., now known as the Children's National Medical Center, they began the first ophthalmology fellowship training program of any subspecialty.[6] This evolved from the rotation of Heed Fellowship ophthalmologists who had trained with Costenbader for many years.[5] The first Children's Hospital of Washington fellow was Leonard Apt in 1959.

Parks' scientific contributions include:


From 1974 to 1975, Parks was the first president of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, a professional association of which he was a founding member.[8][9] In 1982, he was president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.[9]

Editor / Assistant Editor



Perhaps Parks' greatest legacy are the 160 fellows he trained in pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus. Many of these former fellows have gone on to leadership positions within the field themselves.

Dr. Kenneth Wright, a former Parks fellow and current Director of Pediatric Ophthalmology Research and Education at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, published a tribute to Dr. Parks in the medical text Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus, calling him “the driving force that has led to the development and maturation of our specialty, pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus.” [10]

Travelled extensively, leading ophthalmologic seminars worldwide, and was a pioneer in enhancing ophthalmologic practice in the Eastern block, especially in the Soviet Union, during the thaw in relations between the Eastern Bloc and the United States. One story he told was of being allowed to use a secret subway tunnel between East and West Berlin to travel between the two zones to avoid the checkpoints. He was a patriot and loyal American.[11]

Family life[edit]

Parks and his late wife, Angeline Miller Parks, raised eleven children. Following the death of his first wife, Parks and Martha McSteen Parks married and resided in Washington, D.C. for 14 years prior to his death.[12] He is a devout Catholic.[13][14] His grandson is following in his footsteps and is currently in medical school.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joe Holley. "D.C. Physician Illuminated The Ailments of Young Eyes." Washington Post. Sunday, August 21, 2005; Page C11.
  2. ^ a b c Taylor D (2005). "Marshall Miller Parks, MD, 1918–2005". Br J Ophthalmol. 89: 1552. doi:10.1136/bjo.2005.081695. 
  3. ^ Traboulsi E.; Mitchell G.; Mitchell P.; Wilson M. "Marshall M. Parks, MD.". American Journal of Ophthalmology. 141 (2): 424–425. doi:10.1016/j.ajo.2005.08.082. 
  4. ^ Fishman, Ron. "The Court Martial That Never Happened: An episode from the war experiences of Marshal Parks, MD". Accessed August 19, 2008.
  5. ^ a b Marshall MM. "The History of the Costenbader Society: Costenbader's Challenges." Accessed August 19, 2008.
  6. ^ "Marshal M. Parks, M.D." Obituary. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  7. ^ Parks MM (1969). "Th monofixation syndrome". Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 67: 609–57. PMC 1310353Freely accessible. PMID 5381308. 
  8. ^ "AAPOS Presidents/Annual Meetings." American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Accessed August 19, 2008.
  9. ^ a b American Academy of Ophthalmology."2004 Laureate Award: Marshall M. Parks, M.D." Accessed August 19, 2008.
  10. ^ "Tribute to Marshall M. Parks, MD"
  11. ^ Source
  12. ^ Parks, Marshall Miller, M.D." New York Times. July 29, 2005.
  13. ^ "Marshall Miller Parks, MD, 1918–2005". The British Journal of Ophthalmology. 89 (12): 1552. PMC 1772983Freely accessible. doi:10.1136/bjo.2005.081695. 
  14. ^

External links[edit]