Dr. Patricia Era Bath, 1942 –2019
Dr. Bath was an American ophthalmologist, inventor, humanitarian, and academic. She was the inventor of laser cataract surgery. Her invention was called Laserphaco Probe. She also became the first woman member of the Jules Stein Eye Institute, the first woman to lead a post-graduate training program in ophthalmology, and the first woman elected to the honorary staff of the UCLA Medical Center. Bath was the first African American person to serve as a resident in ophthalmology at New York University. She was also the first African American woman to serve on staff as a surgeon at the UCLA Medical Center.
Dr. Bath was the first African American woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose. The holder of five patents, she also founded the nonprofit American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness in Washington, D.C.