A pioneer in microsurgery of the eye, essential to the practice of corneal and refractive microsurgery, Dr. Richard C. Troutman was among the first ophthalmologists worldwide and the first in the United States to use a variable-step magnification dissecting microscope for ophthalmic microsurgery in 1954. In 1962, he introduced the first remotely controlled, motorized zoom magnification microscope that was manufactured by Keeler Instrument Company of England. From 1967 to 1989, he developed the first motorized, ceiling mounted, zoom ophthalmic surgical microscope with remotely controlled focusing and centering, planetary tilting and illumination and a surgical keratometer. Contemporary surgical microscopes that incorporate his concepts continue to be employed not only for ophthalmic and refractive microsurgery but also have been adopted and modified for microsurgery by many other surgical specialties.
In 1976, Dr. Troutman and his wife Dr. Suzanne Véronneau-Troutman founded the Microsurgical Research Foundation (MRF), a non-profit public foundation that supports research and fellowships in refractive and corneal surgery and funds the $5,000 annual Troutman Prize to the author (age 45 and under) of the best original article of the previous year in the Journal of Refractive Surgery.
Dr. Troutman has authored or co-authored nine books and more than 150 articles and book chapters in scientific publications, many of which detail his innovative microsurgical techniques. Dr. Troutman, internationally recognized as one of the originators of corneal transplant surgery, served as professor and head of the division of ophthalmology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center for 27 years until 1983. In 2000, Dr. Troutman received a Lifetime Achievement Award from his medical school, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and also the American Academy of Ophthalmology.