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Dr. Patricia Bath is a laser scientist and ophthalmologist.
In 1986, Dr. Bath invented what is arguably one of the most important surgical tools in the history of ophthalmology — the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment. Her use of the Excimer Laser helped to create a device and new method that is responsible for the minimally invasive cataract surgery that we know today.
Eye surgeons today still use Dr. Bath’s method to continue to restore and improve vision for millions of patients that suffer from cataracts across the globe.
In 1988, she patented this device, becoming the first African American female doctor to receive a patent. In addition to this accomplishment, Dr. Bath was also the first African American female to complete her ophthalmology residency in 1973 and was the first female faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Dr. Bath was born in 1942 and died in 2019.