Black History Month-Dr. Patricia Bath

Dr. Patricia Bath, an alumna of Hunter College, earned degrees in Chemistry and Physics in 1964. A graduate of Howard University Medical School, she had a passion for fighting blindness. After finishing a fellowship at Columbia University, Dr. Bath became the first African American resident in ophthalmology at New York University. Bath’s career as a groundbreaking ophthalmologist, researcher, physician, and educator was based on the principle that primary eye care is a basic human right that should be available to all.

Dr. Bath led a retrospective, epidemiological study which found Blacks to be twice as likely to experience blindness in comparison to whites due to lack of access to proper healthcare. She championed community ophthalmology which is still operational worldwide. Bath, a career researcher and laser scientist, also created a revolutionary device and technique. The first Black female doctor to receive a medical patent, Dr. Bath invented the laserphaco probe. To this day, her keratoprosthesis device is used to remove cataracts in a quicker, less invasive way.

Though she experienced sexism and racism numerous times during her career, Dr. Bath continued to break glass ceilings while achieving her personal best. As a founder of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness (AIPB), Bath advocated for telemedicine. She felt that electronic communication should be used to provide medical services in rural areas and wherever access to healthcare is limited. Dr. Patricia Bath, an American pioneer, died in May 2019.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>