Medicine, traditionally known as the art of healing, is evolving fast. One key development in this process is the transition from the ontology of "curing"to that of solving problems. As a result the matrix of knowledge-generating activities in medicine is inextricably linked to the emergence of multiple organizational configurations. This article explores the longitudinal development of the glaucoma medical specialty with a view to capture the patterns of division of labor that contributed to or followed from novel understanding of the disease. The historical background is corroborated by an analysis of collaborative scholarly research over the period 1973-2003 to illustrate how successive clinical and scientific modalities co-exist and influence each other. © Crown 2011.