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  • Making an Impact on Our Profession at Home, Abroad, and in Times of Need

    Global Outreach
    Derick Ansah received a certificate from program chairs Mildred M.G. Olivier, MD, and Susan H. Forster, MD, on completion of the 2017 Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring Program Student Engagement Day. Medical students learned about the many subspecialty areas from which to choose in ophthalmology and about the diseases that most affect minority populations.

    As part of the global ophthalmology community, the Academy is ramping up the fight against eye disease and helping ophthalmologists make long-lasting, sustainable contributions to eye care in communities at home and overseas. We are investing in our patients and our profession by fostering tomorrow’s physicians, connecting trainees to global training opportunities and giving back to those in need.

    Developing the Next Generation of Ophthalmologists

    During Student Engagement Day at AAO 2017, the Academy welcomed the second class of 25 students from 22 schools to the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring Program. This collaboration with the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) is designed to attract underrepresented medical students to ophthalmology to more accurately reflect the patient population. As part of the program, the Academy matched students with ophthalmologists who will mentor them for the coming years, helping them prepare to be competitive when applying for the residency match. In addition, the Academy and the AUPO approved five years of additional funding for the program through 2022.

    Helping Deliver Care in Underserved Areas of the World

    Since its launch one year ago, the Global Directory of Training Opportunities has grown to more than 3,300 listings. This free resource helps ophthalmologists track down supplemental training opportunities outside their countries and provides basic information and links to fellowships, observerships and research opportunities from around the world.

    Teaming Up to Support Hurricane and Earthquake Survivors

    In response to the devastation caused by natural disasters in August and September 2017, we teamed up with the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology to establish a Hurricane Relief Fund helping those in affected areas get the vital services and assistance they need. One hundred percent of the donations went to Americares, a non-profit disaster relief and global health organization providing immediate response to emergency medical needs and supporting long-term health care initiatives for people in the United States and around the world.

    To get the message out, we highlighted personal stories of those Academy members who went above and beyond in their own communities to support disaster victims. We also offered a portal for industry leaders to provide information about the supplies they were offering to affected communities.