• To Mentor and Be Mentored, Every Senior Ophthalmologist’s Dream

    By Marcia Carney, MD, and Eve Powers

    Editor’s note: The goal of the Academy’s Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program is to increase diversity in ophthalmology by helping students underrepresented in medicine, such as African Americans and Latinos, become competitive ophthalmology residency applicants. Students accepted to the program receive one-on-one mentorship, guidance in medical career planning and a weekend of learning and networking opportunities at the Academy’s annual meeting.

    Here, Marcia Carney, MD, describes her mentorship of Eve Bowers, a candidate for Doctor of Medicine in 2021 and participant at AAO 2018. Dr. Carney says the mentor-mentee relationship is a two-way street and reveals what Bowers has given back to her.

    My mentee Eve Bowers continues to pursue ophthalmology as a career and is in a perpetual soar.

    Beginning her third year of medical school and still surviving, Eve just published her first paper and is now submitting three more scientific articles for publication. She admits that the studies have been hard but never impossible. She is committed. 

    “It is what I really want to do,” Eve says.

    As a Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring participant in 2018, Eve has tried to follow all possible recommendations from her school, from the Academy and beyond. She continues to make her steady climb.

    When she was not getting all that she needed from my suggestions, I directed her to Keith Warren, MD, former chairman at Kansas and a former resident of mine at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a retina specialist and mentor to all, including his son Alexis Warren, current resident at University of Iowa under chair Dr. Keith Carter. Dr. Warren followed the virtual mentoring handbook provided by the Academy and gave Eve suggestions on moving forward. The mentoring weave continues.  

    Eve is currently in good standing at the University of Pittsburgh with excellent grades. She earned honors in surgery, specialty care (ENT/ophthalmology) and honors in internal medicine, with a GPA close to 4.0. She is a candidate for Doctor of Medicine in 2021, receiving honors in ophthalmology, family medicine and internal medicine. She was awarded the Rabb-Venable Excellence in Research Award in 2018.

    Eve’s brother, Levi, is one year behind her at University of Pittsburg School of Medicine. Both Eve and Levi like the idea of giving a senior ophthalmologist a little help with publications.

    “We will help wherever we can,” says Eve, whose father is an ophthalmologist.

    Eve edited my book review for this edition of Scope on Malcolm Gladwell’s “Talking to Strangers,” and Levi helped me with editing and writing the book review for the fall edition of Scope on Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink.”

    This is one way ophthalmology students and residents in any level of training or practice help to keep us senior ophthalmologists current and ready to teach and train.

    Marcia D. Carney, MD, (right) with medical students who participated in the Academy’s Minority Mentoring program.

    It literally takes a village to mentor a student or resident. The Academy and the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology’s mentoring support have been monumental in their development.

    The students and residents are the best of the best. They are the Academy’s “Top Gun.” They make the mentoring commitment a delight, a task worth undertaking. They definitely keep the senior ophthalmologists awake and moving.

    To learn how to become a mentor or learn more about the program, visit aao.org/minority-mentoring.