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Ophthalmology Community Mourns Pioneering Inventor and Educator Dr. Patricia Bath

The community of ophthalmology mourns the recent loss of American Board of Ophthalmology Diplomate Patricia Bath, MD, the pioneering ophthalmologist, inventor, and educator who spent a lifetime making history as the first:

  • African-American resident in ophthalmology at New York University;

  • Woman to join the Jules Stein Eye Institute;

  • Woman to lead a post-graduate training program in ophthalmology;

  • African-American woman to serve on staff as a surgeon at the UCLA Medical Center; and,

  • African-American woman physician to receive a medical patent for inventing a new technique and device to treat cataracts.

According to reports, Dr. Bath, who was 76, died on May 30 following complications from cancer. Among Dr. Bath's many career achievements, she was credited with launching a new medical discipline--community ophthalmology--to address preventable blindness through education, public health outreach, and local provision of medical services.

To read Dr. Bath's inspiring life story in her own words, read this interview excerpt by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

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