• Paul Sternberg Jr., M.D., Begins Term as President of American Academy of Ophthalmology

    SAN FRANCISCO – The American Academy of Ophthalmology, today announced that Paul Sternberg, Jr, MD, has begun his term as the Academy's 116th president. Dr. Sternberg, who was elected by the Academy's 32,000 physician and surgeon members, will hold the office for one year.

    Dr. Sternberg is a nationally-recognized leader in ophthalmic education and research as well as a highly respected retina specialist. He currently serves as the G. W. Hale professor of ophthalmology and chairman of the Vanderbilt Eye Institute of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn.

    Dr. Sternberg brings decades of experience as an Academy leader to his new role as president. He served as a trustee-at–large on the Board of Trustees from 2006-09 and has played key roles on the Academy's Committee of Secretaries. Dr. Sternberg was secretary for communications from 2000-05, and during his 1997-99 tenure as associate secretary for state affairs, he and Michael Brennan, M.D., established the Academy's Leadership Development Program, a year-long program that provides leadership training and skills development to up-and-coming ophthalmic leaders.

    "It's an honor and a privilege to serve the profession of ophthalmology as the Academy's president," said Dr. Sternberg. "In this time of fiscal uncertainty and rising healthcare costs, ophthalmologists continue to provide remarkable value to our patients and to society. Caring for eye and vision health boosts the quality of life for people of all ages, whether it's cataract surgery for the elderly, blindness prevention treatments for premature infants, or prescribing the right eyeglasses or contact lenses. Each year, our clinicians and scientists come up with extraordinary treatment innovations that improve ophthalmologists' ability to provide effective, efficient and compassionate care."

    As leader of a medical society that includes more than 90 percent of United States ophthalmologists and thousands of international members, the Academy president represents ophthalmology within the broader field of medicine and serves as the profession's advocate-in-chief to federal, state, local and global officials and private organizations. Dr. Sternberg and Academy CEO, David W. Parke II, MD, will work closely together to ensure ophthalmology's advancement in an era of intensive healthcare reform and increasing globalization.   

    "Today's medical landscape continues to present challenges as well as opportunities," said Dr. Parke. "Dr. Sternberg's strong experience in medical education, professional development and research will be invaluable to the Academy's ability to focus on healthcare policy, while remaining true to our core mission of ensuring the highest quality eye care for patients around the world."

    Beyond his strong record of leadership within the Academy, Dr. Sternberg's background includes service on the board of trustees of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology from 2005-10, where he was vice-president from 2009-10. In 2009 he also became associate dean for clinical affairs, chief medical officer, and assistant vice chancellor for adult health affairs at Vanderbilt. Dr. Sternberg served on the board of scientific counselors for the National Eye Institute, the board of directors of the International Retinal Research Foundation, the board of directors of the Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology, and was president of the Georgia Society of Ophthalmology. He maintains an active academic and research program, studying the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration.

    Dr. Sternberg is a graduate of Harvard College and University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. After a residency in ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, he completed a vitreoretinal fellowship at Duke University Eye Center.

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    About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
    The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons — Eye M.D.s— with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org.