Norma Boschetti-Barton, M.D., F 90
J. Lawton Smith with four of his fellows at the Neuro-Ophthalmology Symposium in Key Biscayne on December 8, 1980. Left to right: Drs. Harold Shaw, J. Lawton Smith, Norma Boschetti, Robert Tomsak and John Costin.
I was a Neuro-Ophthalmolgy Fellow at Bascom Palmer (1979-1980) under the guidance of Dr. J. Lawton Smith. He was one of a kind, brilliant, full of energy and a wonderful teacher. He was a father figure to his fellows and I was in awe of him. He was one of the “Founding Five” professors and the first Neuro-Ophthalmologist recruited to the faculty. He came from Duke University in 1962. His detailed examination of patients took hours and his written reports could be used and were used to study. He gave patients typewritten instructions and prayed for them with love and compassion before they left.
It was a privilege to have been part of the Neuro-Ophthalmology Symposia at Key Biscayne, the Neuro-Ophthalmology Tapes and the first issue of the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology.
Tuesdays were very special. We would make rounds and examine patients with Dr. Smith at Jackson Memorial Hospital (West Wing 11) and discuss Neuroimaging with Dr. Robert Quencer and Dr. Judy Post.
Every Thursday Dr. Smith would have a small prayer group at noon time. Betsy Barton was both his secretary and prayer partner. She had relocated to Miami with her family in 1962 from Duke University to work for Dr. Smith. She was kind and gentle, a marvelous example of Christian character, and remained with Dr. Smith until her untimely death in 1985. On a very personal note, she changed my life in a wonderful way. I became her daughter-in-law when I married her son Jim in 1981. Her legacy still lives on. Her daughter, Kathryn Barton Corser continues to work at Bascom Palmer after more than thirty years.