Restoring Sight to the Blind: Dr. Patricia Bath

By Monica Manna

During Black History Month, KNB Communications celebrates contributions from great Black minds in healthcare and / or technology.     

Restoring Sight to the Blind                                            

Born in 1942, Patricia Bath had a long, impressive list of firsts. She was the:

First African American woman to successfully complete a residency in ophthalmology. 

First woman to become a faculty member at UCLA’s Department of Ophthalmology. 

First woman in the nation to chair the Ophthalmology Residency Training program at UCLA-Drew, which she helped create.

First female doctor to acquire a medical patent, perhaps the ‘first’ for which she is most famous. 

Dr. Patricia Bath

The device Bath created is the Laserphaco Probe, an invention that helps patients have a less painful experience when getting cataracts removed and treated. On top of this, Bath’s contributions would go on to aid in sight restoration of people who had spent 30 years blind. Bath was a devoted advocate for the blind community, having co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness which declares that “eyesight is a basic human right.” Bath shared that “the ability to restore sight is the ultimate reward.”

by Monica Manna

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