Black History: Special Delivery!!

Dr. Patricia Bath
Dr. Patricia Bath

 Born in 1942, ophthalmologist, Dr. Patricia Bath, was the first African American female doctor to patent a medical invention. Her patent for the Cataract Lasephaco Probe removes cataracts using a laser device. Her device made cataract removal painless and much more accurate. Throughout her career, Dr. Bath has been focused on the treatment and prevention of blindness. Her invention was patented in 1988. The method in use before her invention used a type of grinding/drill like device to remove cataracts. In the U.S., about half of the vision loss in African Americans is caused by cataracts.

Dr. Bath graduated from Howard University School of Medicine in 1968 and completed additional ophthalmology and corneal transplant training at New York University and Columbia University. She became the first African American female surgeon at UCLA Medical Center and the first woman to be on the faculty of Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. She is also the founder of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness.  Dr. Bath is also credited with introducing “community ophthalmology” a new discipline in the field of ophthalmology. The new discipline incorporates elements of health care, community medicine and clinical ophthalmology. She also incorporated the use of telemedicine into her practice using it to reach remote areas. She identifies the “right to sight” as her credo. She is seen as a pioneer in research and innovation within the field of ophthalmology.

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Did you miss yesterday’s post?  Click here to learn more about Ron Galimore, the first African American male gymnast to be selected for US Gymnastics Olympic team.

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