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Gordon Miller, M.D., Honors Bascom Palmer’s Founder

In February 1960, Gordon Miller was a senior at Washington University School of Medicine and wanted to avoid the winter in St. Louis. He came to Miami for his rotation in ophthalmology. His plans to follow a career in internal medicine were shelved in favor of a career in ophthalmology because of Bascom Palmer’s founder – Dr. Edward W.D. Norton.

At that time, Norton had recently arrived in Miami to become “Chief” of the division of ophthalmology at the University of Miami School of Medicine. With big plans for the future, he and his colleague, Victor C. Curtin, M.D., were laying the groundwork for an ophthalmology department at the university. Just two years later, their dream was realized when the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute opened its doors, named in honor of Bascom H. Palmer, M.D., one of Miami’s first ophthalmologists.

After earning his medical degree, Miller returned to Miami for his residency because of the opportunity to learn from Norton and Curtin, two of the brightest minds in ophthalmology. “Whenever there was a question regarding a diagnosis or a problem with a patient, Dr. Norton was always available to answer questions and to teach, teach, teach,” said Miller. “He was also tireless in his efforts to recruit a great faculty and serve his fellow man.”

After being called to serve in the U.S. Army, Miller returned to Bascom Palmer and in 1966 became chief resident under “the Chief.” “I like to think that I was his favorite resident,” said Miller. “Dr. Norton was like a guiding light for me.”

Miller launched a long and successful career as an ophthalmologist in private practice in Miami Beach, specializing in oculoplastics. Following Norton’s personal example of service, Miller taught at the Miami Veteran’s Administration Hospital for 15 years as a voluntary faculty member. “I have always been interested in medical education,” he said. Miller also supports Bascom Palmer’s Mary and Edward Norton Library of Ophthalmology – one of the most comprehensive ophthalmic libraries in the world.

In honor of Norton, Miller provided a bequest to create the Gordon R. Miller Endowed Jr. Chair in Ophthalmology. “This gift is a tribute to the Chief and this great Institution,” he said.