Father Waclaw Szuniewicz, M.D., an ophthalmologist of unusual courage and devotion

  • Witold J. Orlowski
  • Andrzej W. Fryczkowski
  • Lech Bieganowski
Part of the History of Ophthalmology book series (ACOI, volume 3)


The authors present a short biography of the missionary-priest ophthalmologist Waclaw Szuniewicz (1892–1963). This remarkable man completed his ophthalmologic training between 1922 and 1927 at the Department of Ophthalmology of the Stefan Batory University in Wilno, Poland. From 1931 to 1949 he served as a missionary priest in China, and for part of this time he was the head of the Department of Ophthalmology at a hospital in the Chinese town of Shuntehfu. He organized and ran a 100 bed ophthalmology department there, also supervising 18 outpatient clinics in the surrounding area. During this period he regularly saw over 145,000 patients and performed over 5000 ophthalmic operations a year! From 1949 to 1952 Dr Szuniewicz carried out research work on the surgical treatment of corneal astigmatism. His interesting refractive procedures were done at Yale University in the USA and the techniques he developed arose from the work he had initially done in China from 1946 to 1948. Dr Suniewicz moved from the USA to Brazil in 1952 where he continued his refractive surgery research until 1954 and his missionary service until his death in 1963.


Refractive Surgery Corneal Astigmatism Ophthalmic Operation Ophthalmology Department Missionary Work 
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    Stawarski F. Sylwetka duchowa ksiedza doktora Waclawa Szuniewicza, Curitiba, 1977.Google Scholar
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    Szuniewicz W, Fasanella RM. Surgery in an attempt to change corneal curvature. Ophthalmic Surg. 1981; 12/10: 719–726.Google Scholar
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    Fasanella RM. Refractive Surgery. Trans. Ophthal. Soc. U.K. 1982; 102/2: 282–290.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Witold J. Orlowski
    • 1
  • Andrzej W. Fryczkowski
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lech Bieganowski
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology of Karol Marcinkowski’s Medical Academy in Poznan (deceased)Poland
  2. 2.The Department of OphthalmologyOhio State UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Dept. of OphthalmologyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  4. 4.The Ophthalmology DepartmentProvince Hospital in TorunPoland

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