Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Death

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Death

Article excerpt

Paul Bach-y-Rita died on November 20, 2006. He was recognized by many in the field as the father of sensory substitution and brain plasticity, commonly accepted concepts that were novel ideas when he first conceived of them in the 1960s. Dr. Bach-y-Rita began medical school at the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico at age 17. He eventually dropped out of medical school and worked as a laborer, was trained as a masseur, and taught anatomy and physiology to veterans with visual impairments in the same massage program. He returned to and graduated from medical school, and became the first and only physician in Tilzaptla, a small Mexican village that had no roads or electricity. Dr. Bachy-Rita moved on to a position at the Smith-Kettlewell Institute of Visual Sciences in San Francisco, California, and became a full professor at age 37. Inspired by his father's recovery from a major stroke, Dr. Bach-y-Rita left Smith-Kettlewell to complete a residency in rehabilitation medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine in Santa Clara, California, and went on to chair the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. …

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