American Board of Ophthalmology CEO George B. Bartley, M.D. recently gave a talk on the history of women associated with the ABO at the 2018 Women in Ophthalmology Summer Symposium in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The talk honored their pioneering spirits and enduring legacies as the earliest and most influential women linked to board certification in ophthalmology. Dr. Bartley's presentation included information about:
Ophthalmologist and researcher Laura A. Lane, M.D., first woman in the United States to become a board-certified physician in 1917;
South Carolina ophthalmologist L. Rosa Gantt, M.D., an early public health pioneer, who achieved board certification in 1919.
Massachusetts ophthalmologist L. Maud Carvill, M.D., who was certified in 1921.
Ophthalmic pathologist Georgiana Dvorak Theobald, M.D., the first woman appointed to the Board of Directors of the ABO in 1938.
Modern-day pioneer and pediatric ophthalmologist Susan H. Day, M.D., who in 1997 became the first woman to serve on the ABO Board of Directors in nearly 50 years.
Dr. Bartley also encouraged women in the profession to get involved in the work of the ABO, from examination development to administration, noting that the demographics in ophthalmology were finally shifting in the direction of an even split between men and women. He reported that if current trends continue, the number of men and women applying for ABO certification would be equal by the year 2024.
Photo courtesy of Femida Kherani, M.D.