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  • Support the Foundation’s Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring Campaign

    A partnership between the Academy and the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO), the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program aims to increase diversity in ophthalmology by helping qualified students who are underrepresented in medicine become competitive ophthalmology residency applicants. 

    Why is this important? Because public health evidence reveals that access to care improves when the physician community reflects the population at large. Although underrepresented minority groups comprise 30.7% of the U.S. population, they only make up 6% of practicing ophthalmologists. This program aims to increase concordance between ophthalmologists and patients.

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    About the Foundation’s Campaign

    The Academy Foundation’s goal is to raise $1 million over five years to support the mentoring program. We raised more than $200,000 in 2021, getting us off to a good start, but we need to keep that momentum up.

    Your contribution to the campaign will play an important part in building a physician membership that more accurately reflects the demographics of the patients we serve — protecting more patients’ sight and empowering more lives as we reach more patients in a broader spectrum of cultural groups and languages.

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    Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring in Action

    In 2022, the program’s fifth year, we welcomed 62 students. 61 students from the Class of 2022 came to AAO 2022 in Chicago for Student Engagement Weekend, where they met with mentors, learned about our profession, tried some Skills Transfer labs and explored the expo.

    The class joins over 150 students actively enrolled in the program to receive one-on-one mentorship, guidance in medical career planning, networking opportunities and access to a variety of educational resources.

    Over 300 physician volunteers currently support our Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring students.

    Exciting News! The program achieved a 100% match rate in the 2022-23 ophthalmology residency match cycle. Sixteen students successfully matched this year; 9 students matched in the 2021-22 cycle. The program is making headway every year, increasing diversity in ophthalmology by helping outstanding students who are underrepresented in medicine become competitive ophthalmology residency applicants. The program is providing personalized coaching for 38 students on track to participate in the 2023-24 cycle with support from the Foundation’s campaign for Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring.

    Learn More About the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring Program

    Visit the program’s main page for introductory information including a video highlighting why ophthalmologists love their career.

    Read the 2021-2022 Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring Program Annual Report.