Dr. Patricia Bath Makes History as the First Black Woman Inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame

Dr. Patricia Bath has broken barriers and made history as the first Black woman inducted into the National Investors Hall of Fame.

Dr. Bath set to make history as the first Black woman inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, PR Newswire reports.

Dr. Bath got her start in the 1970s, completing an Ophthalmology residency at NYU before becoming the first Black woman appointed to UCLA’s surgical staff in 1975. That same year, she became the first woman to lead a post-graduate training program in Ophthalmology.

Her work would lead her to many places as she blazed a trail in medicine, eventually inventing the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment in 1986 using the Excimer Laser. She also developed a device and method for cataract surgery and becoming the first Black woman to receive a medical patent. 

Throughout her career, Bath would receive five U.S. patents. Her device and method helped eye surgeons restore and improve vision for millions of patients worldwide. She was also the first physician to document the disproportionate rate of blindness among Black people compared to other racial groups.

In 1976, Bath co-founded the American Institute for Prevention of Blindness to address those racial vision inequities. Bath’s Laserphaco technique has been used in one million of the twenty million cataract surgeries performed every year. Today, her method has been semi-automated by computers, software, and robotics. 

The world-renowned Ophthalmologist passed away in 2019, and her family is working on getting her inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Bath has been nominated for induction 11 times and would be the only Black woman out of 603 inventors to be a member of the prestigious Hall of Fame. 

Bath got her start in the 1970s, completing an Ophthalmology residency at NYU before becoming the first Black woman appointed to UCLA’s surgical staff in 1975. That same year, she became the first woman to lead a post-graduate training program in Ophthalmology.

Her work would lead her to many places as she blazed a trail in medicine, eventually inventing the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment in 1986 using the Excimer Laser. She also developed a device and method for cataract surgery and becoming the first Black woman to receive a medical patent. 

Throughout her career, Bath would receive five U.S. patents. Her device and method helped eye surgeons restore and improve vision for millions of patients worldwide. She was also the first physician to document the disproportionate rate of blindness among Black people compared to other racial groups. In 1976, Bath co-founded the American Institute for Prevention of Blindness to address those racial vision inequities.

Bath’s Laserphaco technique has been used in one million of the twenty million cataract surgeries performed every year. Today, her method has been semi-automated by computers, software, and robotics. 

The world-renowned Ophthalmologist passed away in 2019, and her family is working on getting her inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Bath has been nominated for induction 11 times and would be the only Black woman out of 603 inventors to be a member of the prestigious Hall of Fame. 

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