Richard L. Abbott, M.D. was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up on Long Island.
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, DC. He completed his residency at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and was a Heed and Fight for Sight cornea and external disease fellow at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami.
Dr. Abbott returned to San Francisco and served on the cornea faculty at California Pacific Medical Center from 1978-1995, when he was recruited to join the faculty at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He currently is the Thomas W. Boyden Health Sciences Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at UCSF and Research Associate at the Francis I. Proctor Foundation.
Dr. Abbott is Past President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the Past President of both the Pan American Association of Ophthalmology and the Pan American Ophthalmological Foundation. He currently serves as the Secretary for Global Alliances for the AAO. 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 served as Chairman of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee. He has been elected as a member of Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, an international body committed to global vision research, education, and service, and is currently Secretary General of this organization. Dr. Abbott has received numerous honors, including the U.S. President’s 25 year Volunteer Service Award; The Sir Stuart Duke Elder International Gold Medal, 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; the Mark Tso Golden Apple International Teaching Award from the International Council of Ophthalmology; the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from Marguis Who’s Who publications. He has authored or co-authored 90 publications and 32 book chapters and has delivered over 800 invited lectures and 36 named lectures.
Dr. Abbott lives in Mill Valley, California and has three children; Galen, and twin daughters, Alison and Lauren, who are both married and have five children. He enjoys hiking, snow shoeing, photography, and creating succulent gardens.