History of Practice
Our practice was founded in the 1880s by Dr. Adolph Alt. Dr. Alt received his medical degree at the University of Heidelberg and briefly practiced in New York before moving to St. Louis. Here he became Professor of Ophthalmology at Beaumont Hospital, and subsequently the inaugural Chairman of the St. Louis University Department of Ophthalmology, a post he held until 1910.
Dr. Alt is well known internationally as the founder of the American Journal of Ophthalmology (AJO), which he edited from 1883 to 1918. This important ophthalmological periodical is still in publication to today.
The first home for our practice was in the Humboldt Building in downtown St. Louis, in what is now known as the Theater District. In 1894 Dr. Frank Henderson took the reins for a short period of time before being succeeded by Drs. William and Guerdan Hardy, father and son ophthalmologists. Dr. Benjamin Milder joined the practice in 1946.
Dr. Milder graduated Washington University medical school in 1942, and he immediately entered the faculty of the Department of Ophthalmology, an affiliation he maintains to this day. Following discharge from his medical tour of duty from1944-1946 in Chicago, he settled into work with the Hardys. Dr. Milder enjoyed many years as ophthalmologist for the St. Louis Cardinals, but he is best known for his interest in applied optics and lacrimal disorders, subjects on which he has written textbooks and numerous published articles and lectured worldwide. A man of many talents, Dr. Milder has also authored seven volumes of light verse. He lives in St. Louis with his wife of over 70 years.
In 1978 Dr. Barry Milder, Benjamin’s son, returned to St. Louis to join the practice. His training at the University of Florida in general and pediatric ophthalmology preceded his appointment in the Washington University Department of Ophthalmology. For over thirty years his lectures on optics and refraction have helped residents at numerous universities start their training with a better ability to evaluate their patients’ visual needs. While truly dedicated to his patients, Dr. Milder’s biggest smiles are seen when any of his eight grandchildren is bouncing on his knee.
Dr. Jeffrey Padousis, a native of the Baltimore region, journeyed here for college and medical school at St. Louis University. His ophthalmology education was at Washington University, where he served as Chief Resident before adding his skills to Ophthalmology West in 2005. He brings expertise in all areas of ophthalmology, as well as his special interest in external eye disorders.
Over the decades Ophthalmology West has resided in offices in downtown St. Louis, mid-town near Barnes Hospital, Clayton in a building designed by Benjamin Milder, and currently both in West County on Ballas Road and adjacent to Barnes St Peters Hospital. The practice Dr. Alt started in the 19th century horse and buggy era is alive and well today in the 21st century era of lasers and space stations.