About Dr. Patricia Era Bath

Dr. Bath was an American ophthalmologist, inventor, humanitarian, and academic. She was an early pioneer of laser cataract surgery. She also became first woman member of the Jules Stein Eye Institute, first woman to lead a post-graduate training program in ophthalmology, and first woman elected to the honorary staff of the UCLA Medical Center. Bath was the first African-American person to serve as a resident in ophthalmology at New York University. She was also the first African-American woman to serve on staff as a surgeon at the UCLA Medical Center. Bath was the first African-American woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose. The holder of five patents,[1] she also founded the non-profit American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness in Washington, D.C.

Her Work

Presidential Memorandum of Scientific Integrity


American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness



Smithsonian Museum included her in their Innovative Lives Exhibition and Program


American Medical Women’s Association induction into Hall of Fame


American Academy of Ophthalmology induction into the Museum of Vision for contributions to Ophthalmology


Tribeca Film Festival Disruptive Innovation Award


TIME Magazine

First person to invent and demonstrate laserphaco cataract surgery

Black Women in Science and Engineering

Dr. Patricia Bath Could Be First Black Woman Inducted Into The National Inventors Hall Of Fame

ABC News

Dr. Patricia Bath: The ‘Woman who Changed the World’ through Eye Care


The American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness was established in 1976 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of blindness through programs designed to PROTECT, PRESERVE, and RESTORE the Gift of Sight. We are founded on the principle that EYESIGHT IS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT and that PRIMARY EYE CARE must be a component of Basic Health Services provided free if necessary for all humankind.