Patricia Bath Biography

Patricia Bath, born in 1942, faced many problems dealing with discrimination as she climbed her way to the top in her profession. During her life time she had completed many accomplishments such as, making a safer and more efficient way to help cataract patients. Patricia at an early age had begun to love science because of her mother and her father, who was also the first African American in his profession. As she was pushed by her parents to pursue a successful career, she begun to strive for and use all she had to get to that point in her profession of ophthalmology.

In honor of black history month, many students have learned about many happenings that lead up to having this dedication and many people who helped contribute towards it. Patricia Bath from an early age began making decisions to later help her achieve many goals in ophthalmology, which among all others was the Laserphaco Probe. Many problems stood in Patricia’s way as she began to make her first achievements, but many believe that these obstacles just pushed her further (Lindberg, M. D. ). Throughout her life Patricia was the first African-American woman to do many things.

She was the first to complete a residency in ophthalmology as an African American. In her department, she was the first female at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute in 1974. Her profession was dealing with those who had cataracts and in 1988 she really contributed in that aspect, she had created the Laserphaco Probe. The Laserphaco Probe is Patricia’s accomplishment that she is most known for. As she began to work on this device, she used it on human cadavers and through many of these tests, she made various modifications (Patricia E. Bath).

The Laserphaco Probe then and now uses a laser to more efficiently, effectively, safely, and painlessly remove the cataracts from a person’s eye. Through this she was also the first African-American female doctor to ever receive a patent, much less than in four different countries (Biography Channel). The lasers on this invention vaporized the films on the eye of the patient without doing any or severe damage to the eye itself. Patricia now works as an educator to upcoming ophthalmologists at her new Residency Training Program. Ophthalmology has been her main profession hroughout her life and even after retiring from her original place of work she was elected to the Center’s Honorary staff (Lindberg, M. D. ). As defined by the (Merriam Webster) dictionary her profession is, “a branch that deals with the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eye. ” Another milestone in Bath’s life was that she, “co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness, which established that “eyesight is a basic human right” (Biography Channel). However, to get this far in life education was necessary. Bath went to a variety of colleges ranging from Hunter College to Howard University to Colombia University.

Patricia Bath will forever be known as the inventor of a device for cataract surgery, or better known as the Laserphaco Probe. Though facing many obstacles throughout her life Bath overcame them and spun them in her favor to be the first to do many things. To think that this all started with the chemistry set given to her by her mother as a young girl (Biography Channel). Along with her other inspiration she did this, which was the love of humanity and passion for helping others. Bath continues to further help her profession by introducing and inducting new future successors into her field through her training program.

Work Cited Page
Lindberg, M.D., Donald. “Patricia Bath.” Changing the Face of Medicine. Harvard Medical School, 19 Feb. 2013. Web. 19 Feb 2013. <>.

“Patricia Bath.” 2013. The Biography Channel website. Feb 20 2013, 01:27
Patricia E. Bath, MD

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