- NAME: Patricia Bath
- OCCUPATION: Educator, Inventor, Doctor
- BIRTH DATE: November 04, 1942 (Age: 71)
- Did You Know?: Patricia Bath's father, Rupert Bath, was the first black motorman to work for the New York City subway system.
- Did You Know?: In 1973, Patricia Bath became the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology.
- Did You Know?: In 1975, Patricia Bath became the first female faculty member in the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute's Department of Ophthalmology.
- Did You Know?: In 1983, Patricia Bath became the first U.S. woman to serve as chair of an ophthalmology residency training program.
- Did You Know?: In 1988, Patricia Bath became the first African-American female doctor to receive a patent for a medical invention.
- EDUCATION: Hunter College, Howard University, Columbia University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Harlem, New York
- Full Name: Patricia Era Bath
- AKA: Patricia Bath
- ZODIAC SIGN: Scorpio
Best Known For
Among many firsts, Patricia Bath is the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology and the first African-American female doctor to receive a medical patent. She invented the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment in 1986.
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In 1981, Bath began working on her most well-known invention: the Laserphaco Probe (1986). Harnessing laser technology, the device created a less painful and more precise treatment of cataracts. She received a patent for the device in 1988, becoming the first African-American female doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose. (She also holds patents in Japan, Canada and Europe.) With her Laserphaco Probe,
Bath was able to help restore the sight of individuals who had been blind for more than 30 years.
In 1993, Bath retired from her position at the UCLA Medical Center and became an honorary member of its medical staff. That same year, she was named a "Howard University Pioneer in Academic Medicine."
Among her many roles in the medical field, Bath is a strong advocate of telemedicine, which uses technology to provide medical services in remote areas.
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They are among history's most revered black inventors, known for their relentless inquisition, passionate research, impeccable design and, most importantly, their desire to push the envelope. Some of the world's greatest technological and social advancements, including the modern-day gas mask, light bulb and traffic light, owe their origins to black inventors. Did you know that George Washington Carver developed more than 100 products using peanuts? Or that Madam C.J. Walker was the first American woman to become a self-made millionaire? Learn more about these inventors, as well as Lonnie G. Johnson, Garrett Morgan, Patricia Bath, Percy Julian and more, at Biography.com.
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Explore Biography.com's collection of African-American firsts in science and medicine, including Patricia Bath, the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology and the first African-American female doctor to receive a patent for a medical invention; Daniel Hale Williams, the first person to successfully complete open heart surgery; Mary Mahoney, the first black woman to complete nurse's training; Edward Alexander Bouchet, the first African American to earn a doctorate from a U.S. university; and Sarah E. Goode, the first African-American woman to receive a United States patent, for her invention of a folding cabinet bed in 1885. Explore full biographies, photo galleries, videos and more, only at Biography.com.
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