2020/2021 Presidential Recognition Award: Tadeu Cvintal, MD

Tadeu Cvintal, MD, ophthalmologist for the past 55 years, is based in São Paulo, Brazil, where he has worked to strengthen the foundations of modern ophthalmology.

Once he graduated from Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil, Dr. Cvintal went to the United States to pursue his specialization. In 1964 he became a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology after completing his residency program at Harlem Eye and Ear Hospital, New York, and a Retina Fellowship at Boston City Hospital, and he was the first Cornea Fellow at Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia.

Returning to Brazil, he became director of the Ophthalmology Department at the State Hospital in São Paulo, where he created the first ophthalmology residency program in the country. In his private practice he introduced and popularized many innovations, such as keratoplasties, extracapsular cataract extraction, IOL implantation, radial ketatotomy, and LASIK. His laser center introduced LASIK in Brazil in 1990, and he trained many surgeons from both Brazil and the United States.

Dr. Cvintal created the Eye Bank of São Paulo, the first in Brazil, and was cofounder of the Brazilian Cataract and Intraocular Lens Society, the Brazilian Refractive Society, and the Brazilian Contact Lens Society. He established his own philanthropic institution, where he trained over 390 residents and fellows who have in turn taken care of over 180,000 patients, free of charge, over these last 50 years. Dr. Cvintal has delivered over 900 lectures worldwide and published a book on complications after corneal transplants (2004).

Presently, in his private practice, where he has seen over 120,000 patients, Dr. Cvintal shares his workdays with his wife, Maria, who runs the place, his son, Victor, who is an anterior segment surgeon, and several colleagues. He has three granddaughters, from Aldo, who are trying to teach him TikTok.