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UAMS Ophthalmologist Inducted into Veteran’s Hall of Fame


John Shock Arkansas Military Veterans Hall of Fame John P. Shock, M.D., (center) stands with U.S. senators Mark Pryor (left) and John Boozman (right). Shock was inducted into the Arkansas Military Veterans' Hall of Fame for his military and civilian service.

Nov. 6, 2013 | Before John P. Shock, M.D., joined UAMS as professor and chair of ophthalmology in the College of Medicine nearly 35 years ago, he was saving the eyesight of wounded soldiers on the battlefield. He recently was honored for his service as he was inducted into the Arkansas Military Veterans' Hall of Fame.

“It is a great honor to be inducted into the Arkansas Military Veterans' Hall of Fame,” Shock said. “It is an award that I will cherish for a lifetime.”

Shock was one of 15 inductees honored at the Nov. 1 ceremony at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock, and was inducted for combined military and civilian public service.

“We are extremely honored to be able to recognize these extraordinary Arkansans who have honored our state and their heroism and service,” said Col. Conrad Reynolds, director of the Arkansas Military Veterans' Hall of Fame.

Shock received his undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1959, having served as a cadet captain company commander. He attended airborne school earning his parachute badge and field artillery training at Fort Sill, Okla., and Fort Bliss, Texas. In 1960 he was assigned to the 503rd Airborne Battle Group of the 82nd Airborne Division.

In 1965, he took a leave from the army to attend Duke University School of Medicine. He returned to active duty with an internship and residency in ophthalmology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. He completed a fellowship in retinal disease and surgery at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Fla.

Throughout his time in the army, Shock attended to many soldiers from Vietnam with severe eye trauma at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco.

Shock holds three patents for surgical instruments he designed. While on active duty he invented a new technique called phacofragmentation, which helped revolutionize cataract surgery worldwide.

Before his military retirement in 1979, Shock earned the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service award.

After retirement, he was recruited by the Department of Ophthalmology in the UAMS College of Medicine. Under his leadership, the department increased from two to 27 full-time faculty members with patients increasing from 10,000 to 50,000. Over the course of 25 years, he has raised more than $60 million for the construction of UAMS’ Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute and its Pat Walker Tower and the Leland and Betty Tollett Retinal and Ocular Genetics Center He stills sees patients today and has written and helped with more than 150 scientific publications and presentations. In 1995, he became the first holder of the John P. Shock, M.D., Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology.

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