2. Portuguese Ergophthalmology History
We recently celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Portuguese Ophthalmology Society. Ophthalmology as a medical specialty was recognized in 1889 by decree law of 8th of August, and a then create the first Ophthalmology course led by Dr Gama Pinto professor in Heidelberg.
Until then many Portuguese doctors have become famous in ophthalmology practices, among them Pedro Hispano, Plácido …
The interest in Ergophthalmology has never been neglected. The social aspect and working conditions were always present being vision the most important sense in the execution of all tasks related to the external environment. The portuguese railways company was one of the first to be concerned about working conditions of their train drivers. Ophthalmologists pionners in this area were: Prof Lopes de Andrade, Dr Aníbal Viola, Prof João Ribeiro da Silva (first using chromatic and campimetric tests), Dr José Quintela, Dr Armando Rezende Rodrigues.
Later aviation and automobile driving would follow the same concerns.
In 1822, the Lisbon Medical Sciences Society was founded. By 1926/7 emerge the first Portuguese ophthalmologists group dedicated to Ergophthalmology in its entire dimension denominated ‘Social Ophthalmology’ – Dr Rezende Rodrigues and Dr Mário Moutinho (as his general secretary). They add to ergonomics of vision and occupational ophthalmology, the ocular traumatology at work.
In 1965 the Portuguese Society of Occupational Medicine was created, and their official journal “Revista Portuguesa de Oftalmologia Social” was regularly published counting as their main scientific collaborators: Drs Alexandre Katz, Artur Fernandes, Artur Moniz, Carlos da Maia, Cláudio Seabra, Eduardo Albarran, Elmano Vendrell, Fernando Alves, Iriarte Peixoto, João Eurico Lisboa, João dos Santos, Jorge Landeiro, Jorge Monjardino, Monteiro Grillo, Paulo Ramalho, Pompeu Moreno, Rezende Rodrigues, João Ribeiro da Silva among others.
In 1966, during the XXth International Congress of Ophthalmology, and 1th International Symposium on Ophthalmologic Problems in Industrial Medicine, Hans Jurgen Merté created the term Ergophthalmology to baptize the group of studies of ‘Occupational Medicine in Ophthalmology’
In 1974 the interest for Ergophthalmology begins to widen leading to the “1st Meeting of Occupational Ophthalmology and Ergophthalmology” held in Coimbra and organized by Drs Alfredo Rasteiro and Rezende Rodrigues.
In 1988 during the general assembly of Portuguese Congress of Ophthalmology Dra Fernanda Querido proposed for the first time the formation of the Portuguese Ergophthalmology Group (PEG). And in 1999 the Portuguese Ophthalmology Society, under the direction of Prof Castanheira Dinis, appoint for the first time a coordinator of these group – Dr Fernando Bívar Weinholtz.
The main objective of PEG was to unveil the Ergophthalmology and Subvision, spread its knowledge as well as alert to the importance of knowing this problematic issues.