All Press Releases for August 13, 2021

Felipe I. Tolentino, MD Honored for His Work as a Retina Specialist

Dr. Tolentino was an integral figure in devising new techniques for vitreous and retina surgery

    LAKELAND, FL, August 13, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Felipe I. Tolentino, MD has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

For more than 60 years, Felipe I. Tolentino, MD has devoted himself to helping others as a trusted, knowledgeable, and compassionate retinal surgeon, educator, lecturer, and author. Throughout his decades of accomplishments, spanning numerous prestigious institutions and roles, accolades, and impactful work that has shaped his field, Dr. Tolentino has navigated it all with honesty, integrity, empathy, and lots of hard work.

Growing up in the Philippines in the 1930s and 40s, Dr. Tolentino always gravitated toward helping and being of service to people, which was largely inspired by his parents—who also instilled in him a great value for education. He knew from an early age that the best and most effective way to improve the lives of others was to pursue a career in the medical field, and so he set his academic mind on that goal, studying sometimes 18 hours a day. He also had an uncle who was a doctor and served as his role model—when his uncle passed away, he inherited all his medical books, further setting him on his career path. Upon graduating with an Associate of Arts from the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Philippines in 1952, he experienced the happiest moment in his life when he was accepted into the institute's medical school, from which he earned a Doctor of Medicine in 1957. Dr. Tolentino would focus his practice on the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases, including vision loss, detached retinas, cataracts, and glaucoma, as well as performing laser retina surgery, refractive surgery, and lens replacement operations.

Armed with degrees, as well as an internship at the Philippines General Hospital, Dr. Tolentino completed residencies in ophthalmology and fellowships across numerous venues, including St. Mary's Hospital in New York, Homer G. Philipps Hospital in St. Louis, and the Eye Research Institute in Boston. In 1965, he launched his career as an instructor at his alma mater, where he also served as a visiting research ophthalmologist from 1966 to 1971 and an assistant professor from 1968 to 1971—during which time he also lent his services as an attending surgeon at Manila Medical Center. Since 1971, he has also been active as an associate scientist at the Eye Research Institute, working out of the Retina Foundation. He subsequently found success as a clinical professor within the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School from 1975 to 1985 and an assistant surgeon in ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary from 1980 to 1983. In addition, he has been a staff member at Warren Memorial Hospital since 1982 and at Hahnemann Hospital since 1983, an associate surgeon at Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary since 1983, and an associate clinical professor at Harvard Medical School since 1986.

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Dr. Tolentino was an integral figure in devising new techniques for vitreous and retina surgery—having been trained by Dr. Charles Schepens, a pioneer in the field who also invented a lot of surgical techniques, he took great pride in contributing as much as he could. Outside of his primary responsibilities, Dr. Tolentino has lectured across several professional conferences and held positions on the editorial boards for the International Journal of Retina and Vitreous and Archives of Ophthalmology. On top of numerous articles for professional journals and publications, he also wrote the book, "Vitreoretinal Disorders" in 1976, and co-authored "Atlas of Vitreoretinal Surgery" in 1990 and "Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy" in 2011.

Always wanting to use his skills for good, Dr. Tolentino has long provided free eye services to the poor and founded a research organization to further help those in need; he was later recognized with a Gusi Award for his charity work in Third World countries. He has additionally remained connected to his field over the years as a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a leading member of such organizations as the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Association of Philippine Ophthalmologists of America—of which he has served as governor and president—the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology, and the Vitreous Society. He played an important founding role in the Ophthalmic Foundation of the Philippines, Restoring Sight International, and the Asian Eye Institute. The goal of these organizations is to help save the sight of people in poor countries.

With his late wife of more than 60 years, Flora, whom he met when he was a medical intern in 1958, Dr. Tolentino has cherished raised three children and spending time with his seven grandchildren. Considering his family to be his greatest personal achievement, he is particular proud that all of his children have followed in his footsteps—his sons, Michael and Phillip, became an eye surgeon and family practice physician, respectively, and his daughter, Lourdes, graduated from MIT and is on an entrepreneurial path. Dr. Tolentino has often told them, as well as his students, that the best building blocks for a successful career are hard work, personal integrity, and compassion for other people.

About Marquis Who's Who®
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