Respected Orthoptist Updates Textbook

At the University of Michigan (U-M) in 1957, there were more than 21,000 students, Harlan Hatcher was president, and an addition was being built onto the Michigan Union.  And, Ida Lucy Iacobucci was just beginning her career at U-M’s Department of Ophthalmology.

Professor Iacobucci, adjunct clinical associate professor at U-M, received her Bachelor’s degree from U-M in 1955 and earned her Orthoptist certificate in 1957. Her clinical and research focus is strabismus, which is the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of conditions such as crossed eyes (strabismus) and lazy eye (amblyopia). (Learn more about strabismus on Wikipedia.) She pioneered many of the advances in the field over her long and illustrious career.

Miss Ida, as she prefers to be called, was kind enough to grant us an interview highlighting the second edition of her textbook “Clinical Approach to Ocular Motility: Characteristics and Orthoptic Management of Strabismus, Second Edition.”

image of Miss Ida

 You published your first textbook, “Clinical Approach to Ocular Motility,” in 1980. Why did you decide to take on the considerable task of updating it?  

I was diagnosed with myleofibrosis – a form of cancer – in August of 2009. No treatment was available at that time, but I was accepted into a trial study at the University of Michigan Health System in November 2010 and this experimental therapy saved my life. During this long period of illness and convalescence, I needed something to occupy my mind, so I decided to review and update my book, “Clinical Approach to Ocular Motility”, which was published in 1980.

I don’t use computers, so I would write my lectures out longhand and my secretary, Karen Norman, would type them up for me. I’m grateful to and appreciative of my first-year residents and orthoptic students from 2010 to 2014 who helped me by providing suggestions and refining content.

When the time came to publish my book, I heard about the publishing expertise offered by the U-M Medical School Information Services (MSIS) Learning Design and Publishing department, which includes Open.Michigan. They help faculty, students, and staff publish books in print and digital formats. I worked with MSIS Learning Design & Publishing staff to finish preparation of my manuscript and to publish my book.

What advice would you offer colleagues who may be interested in publishing their own materials?

I felt overwhelmed in the beginning, but the Learning Design & Publishing staff had a process in place and they walked me through it step-by-step. And, I am delighted with the final book. It is very gratifying to be able to provide such an affordable textbook.

What goals do you hope to achieve with the publication of this book?

My hope for this book is that it be viewed as a useful working tool and valuable addition to required texts for orthoptic students, ophthalmology residents, and ophthalmic technicians. Orthoptics has been my life’s work and my life-long passion. This book is my legacy.


Here’s what Miss Ida’s colleagues are saying about the book:

Monte A. Del Monte, M.D., Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at U-M, said, “These pages and chapters are filled with clinical and diagnostic pearls, which are the key to success in this challenging field – all presented in a readable and understandable format.”

Bruce Furr, Ph.D., Instructor in Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at U-M said, “The initial response (to this book) has been overwhelming. Within the Kellogg Eye Center, everyone who has seen the book wants one. Because it includes treatment – a subject often not touched upon in adequate depth with residents and fellows – the book is seen as a great resource.”

Gill Roper Hall, D.B.O.T., Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Saint Louis University Eye Institute said, “Writing a book like this is a huge undertaking and not for the faint-hearted. The fact that Miss Ida was able to do this while convalescing is remarkable. But then, what about Ida is not remarkable?”


You can find this book, “Clinical Approach to Ocular Motility: Characteristics of Orthoptic Management of Strabismus, Second Edition”, on Amazon and on the Open.Michigan website. Proceeds from sales will benefit the Ida Lucy Iacobucci Orthoptics Clinic at the Kellogg Eye Center.

Interview March 4, 2015 by Stephanie Dascola and Karen Kost,
MSIS Learning Design & Publishing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor