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About the Academy
Past President

Richard L. Abbott, MDRichard L. Abbott, MD

Dr Abbott currently is the Thomas W. Boyden Health Sciences Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the University of California San Francisco and Research Associate at the Francis I. Proctor Foundation. He is the former co-director of corneal and refractive surgery and was responsible for establishing the refractive surgery clinical and research program at UCSF.

After completing his bachelor of science degree at Tufts University in Boston, Dr. Abbott earned his medical degree at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He performed his residency at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and was a Heed and Fight for Sight fellow at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami.

Dr. Abbott has served on the editorial boards of several U.S. ophthalmic journals, as well as currently serving on the editorial boards of numerous international journals. He lectures and publishes on a variety of topics focusing primarily on corneal and external diseases of the eye, as well as quality of care, patient safety, clinical practice guidelines, and medicolegal issues. Dr. Abbott currently is the senior international advisor for the Asia Cornea Society Infectious Keratitis Study. He has authored or co-authored 90 publications and 32 book chapters and has delivered more than 700 invited lectures and 27 named lectures. In addition, he served on the ophthalmic devices advisory panel of the FDA.

Dr. Abbott has received numerous honors, including the U.S. president's 25-year Volunteer Service Award; the International Golden Service Award from the Chinese Academy of Ophthalmology; the Jose Rizal Medal for International Service to the Asia Pacific region from the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology; the AE Maumenee Pan American Medal for Distinguished Service to Latin America from the Pan American Association of Ophthalmology; the Asia Pacific Cornea Foundation Medal from the Asia Pacific Cornea Society; and the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Lifetime Achievement Award. He will receive the Duke Elder International Gold Medal at the World Ophthalmology Congress in Tokyo, April 2014.

Dr. Abbott is past president of the Academy, the Pan American Association of Ophthalmology and the Pan American Ophthalmological Foundation. He currently serves as Academy secretary for global alliances. Dr Abbott is past chairman of the board of the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company (OMIC) and a former director of the American Board of Ophthalmology. He is a past board director for the International Council of Ophthalmology and currently serves as chairman of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee. Dr Abbott is recognized in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, and Best Doctors in America. He has been elected as a member of both the American Ophthalmological Society and Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, an international body limited to 60 active members committed to global vision research, education, and service. He lives in Mill Valley, Calif., with his wife, Cecilia. They have three children and five grandchildren.