Perspectives on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

We believe that the emergence of new ideas from different perspectives catalyzes innovation and success. In support of our mission, we view diversity, defined as encompassing all aspects of human differences, as a fundamental pillar to fostering an inclusive working and learning environment, where all individuals feel respected, are treated fairly, provided work-life balance, and an opportunity to excel in their respective fields.

Duke Eye Center Hosts BOOST Program

More than half of middle school students who express an interest in STEM will lose interest by their high school graduation. The Duke School of Medicine BOOST program is working to combat this by inspiring young students from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue careers in STEM via fun hands-on learning experience and mentorship. When the opportunity arose for the Eye Center to participate in the BOOST program and share our passion for vision with local Durham students, we were thrilled.

The SNMA Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC) Experience

I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Student National Medical Association’s (SNMA) Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC) this year in Orlando, Florida. Given the restrictions enacted to protect communities against the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 AMEC was the first in person meeting held by SNMA in two years.

Ophthalmology Outreach with Duke SNMA

Featuring Ninita Brown MD PhD (Duke Med and Glaucoma Alumna)

Organized by Duke Med Students Nick Johnson & Kirsten Simmons

With Duke’s Leon Herndon MD & Thomas Hunter MD

Duke Eye Center welcomes School of Medicine BOOST Scholars for interactive virtual visit

On a sunny Saturday in late March, Duke Eye Center team members from all over the Triangle logged in on Zoom to host scholars from the Duke School of Medicine BOOST program for a virtual visit to the Duke Eye Center (DEC). The BOOST Program is geared toward 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in the local Durham community who are from populations underrepresented in STEM, especially African American, Latino/a, Native American, girls, and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

American Glaucoma Society (AGS) Webinar Series: Tackling Social Injustice & Health Disparities

With the groundswell of protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, I thought that the American Glaucoma Society should make a statement denouncing racism in its many forms. I serve as secretary of this national organization, and made my thoughts known, but ultimately, the executive committee decided that making such a statement was not in keeping with our mission statement. With the support of the president of AGS, I was able to put together a social justice series sponsored by AGS where we would start to address issues of disparities in medicine. 

“Have we asked the Question?” Religious Inclusion within Glaucoma Pre-Op Counseling

Kirsten Simmons is a 4th year medical student at Duke University School of Medicine, applying to ophthalmology. She is also completing a Master’s of Theological Studies at Duke University Divinity School as a Theology Medicine and Culture Fellow. Within Duke SOM, some of her greatest joys have included serving as the Co-President of the Student National Medical Association- Duke chapter, where she served as an advocate for underrepresented minority trainees.


Glaucoma Chief Dr. Leon Herndon Discusses Race and Diversity in Ophthalmology on AAO Podcast

Two weeks after the murder of George Floyd, Duke Eye Center Chief of Glaucoma, Leon Herndon Jr., MD, joined a panel to discuss the topic of race and diversity in ophthalmology. The conversation was featured on Episode 240 Straight from the Cutter's Mouth: Race in America and Improving Diversity in Ophthalmology a podcast hosted by Dr. Jayanth Sridhar for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). Dr. Herndon was joined by two of his colleagues, ophthalmologists Dr.

My Experience Participating in the Rabb-Venable Excellence in Ophthalmology Program

I am a first generation Afro-Latina medical student, and it was at Duke School of Medicine that I first discovered my passion for ophthalmology. Through Duke Eye Center, I was able to attend the Rabb-Venable Excellence in Ophthalmology Research program hosted by the National Medical Association (NMA) this past summer in Hawaii. This conference was one of the most inspiring events that I have experienced as a Duke medical student.