Stanley Truhlsen, MD: I’m Dr. Stanley Truhlsen, graduate of the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Practiced ophthalmology in Omaha my entire career.
I grew up in Herman. You may not know where it is, but it’s about thirty miles north of Omaha. Omaha was the big city. We would come to Omaha to do shopping when I was a little boy trailing along with my parents.
When I was ten years old and the family doctor, and only doctor, the one who delivered me and my sisters – I got well-acquainted with my family doctor and maybe grew to admire him and considered pre-med and went to Lincoln. After I graduated from high school I enrolled in Lincoln and took pre-med and got more understood in the profession of medicine and took it from there. I graduated from Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in 1941 which was the summer before Pearl Harbor. I was fortunate enough to be in training and got the go-ahead and proceed with my specialty training even though the war happened. I graduated medical school and took a residency in pathology which is the study of diseases under the microscope. And in the process of that, I had to spend a great deal of time looking up things in the library pertaining to the eye and diseases of the eye and the more I looked, the more interested I got. Ophthalmology happened to be the specialty that I became interested in, and I have devoted my life to.
In Ophthalmology you’re dealing with medical problems, surgical problems, visual problems – a very wide-ranging area for just one little, small organ. The challenge is to learn as much as you can about it through experience, through the library, through reading, and being associated with other ophthalmologists, residency training. The eye is a very small organ, but it’s got a lot of things going for it. Medicine, not just ophthalmology, you never get to the final solution. Training is part of it, you’re continuing a learning process. It’s an ongoing thing, it’s satisfying.
It was kind of a dream come true to go to the university, to graduate, and then return and practice, have a satisfying career and become a member of the faculty of the medical center. You know, teaching is learning – the word, “doctor,” is a – dates back to the word, “teach,” and that’s what doctors do is teach one another, that’s the progress of the profession. And I’ve always felt that being a doctor and practicing medicine is kind of a payback for what the state of Nebraska and Omaha and the med center has given to me.