Georg Joseph Beer

Georg Joseph Beer

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Georg Joseph Beer

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Georg Joseph Beer (December 23, 1763, Vienna – April 11, 1821) was an Austrian ophthalmologist . He is credited with introducing a flap operation for treatment of cataracts (Beer's operation), as well as popularizing the instrument used to perform the surgery (Beer's knife).


Initially a theology student, in 1786 he earned his medical doctorate in Vienna. Under the guidance of Joseph Barth (1745-1818), his primary focus turned to the field of ophthalmology. However, his professional relationship with Barth was never close, and he later referred to his years with Barth as his "years of torture" (Barth - mentor and tormentor). The final break in their relationship was caused by Barth's favour of Johann Adam Schmidt (1759-1809), who later became a renowned ophthalmologist.

Eventually he built a successful practice despite the obstacles created by Barth, who publicly expressed doubts in regards to Beer's qualifications. Beer became a popular teacher, and attracted a number of students who later excelled in the field of ophthalmology. Among his better known pupils were William Mackenzie, Philipp Franz von Walther, Carl Ferdinand von Graefe (1787-1840), Johann Nepomuk Fischer (1777-1847), Konrad Johann Martin Langenbeck...
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