George K. Kambara, MD, completed his residency in ophthalmology here in 1946. Although he graduated from Stanford Medical School in 1941, as an American-born Japanese (Nisei) he was caught up in anti-Japanese sentiment after Pearl Harbor and sent to the Tule Lake Relocation Camp (internment camp) in California.
There, he developed an eye, ear, nose and throat clinic until he was able to obtain a paid residency at the Memphis Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital. His interest in ophthalmology grew as he realized he would need more training to pass the American Board of Ophthalmology exam and wanted to leave the segregated South. Fortunately, with the help of Frederick A. Davis, MD, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. Kambara was able to complete his ophthalmology residency at Wisconsin, where he remained as a full-time instructor until 1948.
While he was very fond of Wisconsin, he ultimately returned to the Los Angeles area, where he set up a private practice in Japantown and continued to see patients, even after becoming a faculty member at the University of California Medical School. His endowment gift provides the funding for our vision science symposia.