Edward Jaeger, MD
Edward A. Jaeger, MD, epitomized the motto of "skill with compassion" by sharing his knowledge of and devotion to ophthalmology with generations of medical students. Now his legacy of education will continue through the newly established Jaeger Lectureship.
Some say Ed Jaeger was born to be an educator. For more than three decades, he was the face of ophthalmology for medical students from around the country and the world who were being introduced to the field, exploring it as a career, and pursuing rotations and training at Wills Eye. Serving as the Director of Undergraduate Medical Education from 1980 to 2015, Dr. Jaeger mentored countless students and inspired many to pursue the field of ophthalmology.
When he passed away in June 2020, his wife of 59 years, Sandra, knew exactly how she wanted to continue his legacy at Wills Eye. She established the Edward A. Jaeger, MD Endowed Lectureship to provide a perpetual commitment to further strengthen the best education in ophthalmology for our medical students. The Jaeger Lectureship will fund an annual lecture from a leading scholar in various subspecialties of ophthalmology. It will enable students to learn and interact with these pioneering and innovative clinicians and researchers in ophthalmology.
"Ed loved teaching. He was devoted to his medical practice but really enjoyed spending time with students and sharing his knowledge just as much," said Sandra. In addition to teaching, Dr. Jaeger was also co-editor with Thomas Duane, MD, and later William Tasman, MD, of the 10-volume textbook, Duane)s Ophthalmology. He also played a critical role in Wills Eye's partnership with Thomas Jefferson University. He served as a key advisor in many different capacities over his decades-long career.
Bruce J. Markovitz, MD, Dr. Jaeger's successor, described him best: "When students would come to Wills for their skills workshop, or to learn the basics of the eye exam, that's when he would really shine. He loved one-on-one teaching and always made students feel good – even when they were struggling with something."
Dr. Jaeger also liked to keep his students on their toes. Sandra met Ed when she was a young nursing student and he was a junior intern at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. When the young intern was invited one day to lecture at one of Sandra's nursing classes, Dr. Jaeger unexpectedly called on Sandra to answer a question – just as she was nodding off. "Ed saw me dozing and, of course, called on me!" she recalled. Years later, he used the same tactic on many sleepy medical students!
Sandra shared Dr. Jaeger's devotion to imparting knowledge to the next generation of ophthalmologists. The couple hosted the ever-popular gatherings at their shore home each year, and she enjoyed meeting the many doctors that her husband mentored during his career.
"I'm thrilled that this lecture will bear Ed's name," said Sandra. "I know he would be proud to be a part of continuing the hospital's strong commitment to educating future ophthalmologists. Our family felt it was a wonderful way to carry on his spirit."
For more information about the Jaeger Lectureship or to learn how you can support Wills Eye Hospital, call 215-440-3153.