Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring Program

Friday, March 1, 2019

Question: What is one of the ways our profession is working to increase diversity in the field of Ophthalmology?

Answer: Duke medical students know the answer, the MOM Program!

On Wednesday, February 20, 2019, Ophthalmology Medical Student Director, Jullia Rosdahl, MD, PhD, and Ophthalmology Residency Director, Pratap Challa, MD, hosted an informational session at the Duke Eye Center for first and second year Duke medical students, to tell them about the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring (MOM) Program and talk about Ophthalmology as a medical specialty.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) teamed up to create this program to help students who are under-represented minorities to learn more about Ophthalmology as a specialty and to help them become competitive applicants for Ophthalmology residency programs.  The program is for first and second year medical students who are under-represented minorities in medicine, including those who identify as Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, or Native American (American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian).

Students in the program are connected with a Mentor who is an ophthalmologist who will help support their academic and career development.  The program highlights some of the reasons many of us have chosen to pursue Ophthalmology as a specialty: the positive impact we can have on the community by addressing one of the most important drivers of quality of life for our patients—vision, rewarding work (including the innovative technologies we use every day), and satisfaction with our careers and wonderful colleagues.  The MOM Students and Mentors from around the country connect with each other at the Student Engagement Weekend, held in conjunction with the American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting.  Students who attended this weekend in 2018 performed cataract surgery and laser micro surgery on simulators!

Does this sound like something you would like to get involved with?

More information: https://www.aao.org/minority-mentoring

Application for Students: https://www.aao.org/minority-mentoring-students (next deadline is June 15, 2019)

Interest form for Mentors: https://www.aao.org/minority-mentoring-physicians

Information for schools: https://www.aao.org/minority-mentoring-schools