NEW ORLEANS — The American Academy of Ophthalmology recently entered into a partnership with the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology to address minority representation in the field of ophthalmology and increase the number of applicants for residency programs, president-elect Keith D. Carter, MD, FACS, said in his address at the Academy meeting.
“Our goals are to identify, recruit, mentor and prepare this pool of students so our residency programs will have a deeper, diverse pool of qualified applicants [from] which to choose. Diversity benefits not only the educational experience, but [also] allows us to better represent the patient populations we serve and address the unfortunate health disparities that surround us,” he said.
Carter’s term will begin after the term of current president Cynthia A. Bradford, MD, expires in December 2017.
Carter, an ophthalmologist of 30 years, cited the need for more diversity in the field to better care for the changing patient population.
“While the professional landscape is changing in many ways, in some respects we have unfortunately remained fairly constant. The level of underrepresented minorities in our profession has not changed significantly since I began my career 30 years ago. This issue is becoming more important to us as the U.S. population continues to change,” he said.
The partnership between AAO and the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology will target medical schools for recruitment and recruit from undergraduate students and from first and second year medical students. Each student will be assigned a volunteer mentor to prepare the student for a potential ophthalmology residency.
“I look forward to working with the Academy board, the various committees, subspecialty leaders and staff, and serving as your president in the year ahead,” he said. – by Robert Linnehan
Carter KD. Academy president-elect’s address. Presented at: American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting; Nov. 11-14, 2017; New Orleans.
Disclosure: Carter reports no relevant financial disclosures.