Richard L. Abbott, MD, begins term as AAO president for 2011

January 19, 2011

Richard L. Abbott, MD, began his term as president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Jan. 1. Dr. Abbott is the Thomas W. Boyden Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco, and research associate at the Francis I. Proctor Foundation. He succeeded Randy Johnston, MD, as AAO president.

San Francisco-Richard L. Abbott, MD, began his term as president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Jan. 1. Dr. Abbott is the Thomas W. Boyden Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco, and research associate at the Francis I. Proctor Foundation. He succeeded Randy Johnston, MD, as AAO president.

“Ophthalmology is flourishing, and we are facing more opportunities and challenges than ever before,” Dr. Abbott said. “I look forward to working on issues that are important to our members now, and to inspire them to become future leaders for our profession.”

Dr. Abbott has held numerous leadership positions in the AAO. He most recently was a member of the organization’s Committee of Secretaries, holding the position of secretary for quality care and knowledge base development from 2002 to 2008. He also has served as secretary for quality of care (1994) and as a member of the AAO Board of Trustees as senior secretary for ophthalmic practice (1996 to 2001).

In 2009 and 2010, he served as chairman of the board of the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Co. In 2006, Dr. Abbott received the AAO’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2008, he was elected into Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis.

Dr. Abbott received his medical degree in 1971 from the George Washington University School of Medicine. After completing his internship at Los Angeles County Hospital, he spent 2 years in the Indian Public Health Service teaching medics and running a community health clinic on the Navajo reservation. He completed his fellowship in corneal and external diseases at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami.