Patricia Bath was born 11/04/42 in New York City. Throughout her childhood, both her parents Rupert and Gladys Bath encouraged her to read. She remembers playing with a microscope set her mother bought from Macy's. This sparked her interest in the science field.
Thank you, Mrs. Bath, I can finally see again!
Bath graduated from Charles Evans High within 2 & 1/2 years! She attended a Summer Institute in Biomedical Science at Yeshiva University where she studied the relationship between cancer, nutrition, and stress. She was a co-author of a research report at age 17. She then worked at the University and Harlem Hospital with a cancer research team. She proceeded to attend Hunter College and Howard Medical School.
Mrs. Bath noticed that predominately African American patients had more eyesight problems because they had less access to quality ophthalmic care. She developed a new field called "Community Ophthalmology". She traveled to Berlin University in Germany to develop what would soon change many lives, laser eye surgery. Patricia Bath invented Laser Cataract surgery in 1981, her invention is called the Laserphaco Probe.
Paving The Way
Laser Cataract Surgery has changed the lives of many people by restoring their vision. Bath received the opportunity to restore vision to a woman who was blind for over 30 years.
With Bath's invention of the Laserphaco Probe, the removal of cataracts was made faster, easier, more accurate, and less invasive.
Patricia Bath impacted the world of science in many ways. She was the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology, first woman to chair an ophthalmology residency program in the U.S. and the first African American female doctor to secure a patent. Being one to claim many "firsts", she has inspired and paved the way for many future African American doctors.