The university professor will focus on pandemic recovery, supporting diversity in medicine
SAN FRANCISCO – Tamara R. Fountain, MD, this week begins her one-year term as the 125th president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Fountain, a professor of ophthalmology at Rush University Medical Center and an oculoplastic surgeon in private practice in Illinois, was elected to leadership by the Academy’s community of 32,000 ophthalmologists. She will prioritize recovery and diversity: Recovery for a specialty hard hit by the pandemic and diversity in medicine that charts a path toward closing health disparities based on race and socioeconomic status.
“2021 will be the year to ‘right the ship’ as we recover from a most devastating year, for ophthalmologists and patients alike,” Dr. Fountain said. “This involves rebooting the practice of ophthalmology, the education of our trainees, and the clinical care of our patients. I’m honored to support colleagues across the globe in putting our patients’ health first and protecting their sight.”
Ophthalmology lost more patient volume due to the COVID-19 pandemic than any other medical specialty. At the same time, ophthalmologists are facing the possibility of deep Medicare cuts in 2021. Advocating for fair physician reimbursement is a top priority this year to ensure quality care for patients, Dr. Fountain said.
Dr. Fountain has served the ophthalmic community in several ways over the last 25 years, including as Academy secretary for Member Services, at-large member of the Board of Trustees, and as an editorial member of EyeNet Magazine. She is also past president of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the Illinois Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons. She was awarded the Academy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Orkan Stasior Leadership Award.
Dr. Fountain earned her medical degree from Harvard and completed her residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Wilmer Eye Institute. She then completed specialty training in plastic and reconstructive surgery at University of Southern California’s Doheny Eye Institute.
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit aao.org.