Skip to Main Content

Health Sciences Trailblazers


Patricia Era Bath, MD

An ophthalmologist, inventor, and humanitarian, Dr. Bath’s groundbreaking work has helped restore eyesight worldwide. She made vital advances in treating cataracts and blindness, among other achievements.

The first Black American woman to receive a medical patent, Dr. Bath broke many barriers. Her innovations include a revolutionary cataract-surgery device, the Laserphaco Probe. She also established an artificial-cornea transplant program at UCLA’s Stein Eye Institute, which has returned vision to thousands.

An advocate for health equity, Dr. Bath co-founded the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness. She pioneered the field of “community ophthalmology,” focusing on higher rates of blindness in marginalized populations.

Books about Dr. Bath