The numbers tell the story: African Americans make up 12.8% of the U.S. population, while only 2.9% of ophthalmologists. Meanwhile Caucasians, who make up 72.4% of the population, compose a similar 76.7% of the ophthalmic community.
While there is still a long way to go for better representation in ophthalmology and medicine in general, let’s take a look at some of the pioneers and achievements of the African American ophthalmic community up until now.
In the mid 1900s, less than two African Americans would graduate pursuing ophthalmology per year. Today, the number of annual African American graduates is closer to 10.