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Dr. Patricia Bath

Dr. Patricia Bath

November 4, 1942 -

Dr. Patricia Bath is the first African-American to complete a residency in ophthalmology. Ophthalmologists perform eye operations. Dr. Bath is also the first African-American female to receive a medical patent. She patented her invention, the Laserphaco Probe, which treated cataract. The Laserphaco Probe was developed to create a more precise treatment for cataracts. She also holds patents in Europe, Japan and in Canada. With her invention, Dr. Bath helped restore sight for patients previously blind for more than 30 years.

After graduating from high school in only two years, Dr. Bath earned her bachelor’s degree from Hunter College in 1964 and ultimately her medical degree from Howard University, graduating with honors in 1968. Dr. Bath’s research uncovered that African Americans were twice as likely to suffer from blindness and eight times more likely to develop glaucoma. There has never been a stronger advocate for the right to see. Her vision for restoring eyesight helped deliver vision for generations of people with failing eyesight across the globe.  

Watch the Laserphaco Probe in action -->

Richard Allen

Richard Allen

Benjamin O. Davis Jr.

Benjamin O. Davis Jr.