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In 1988, she patented the invention, making history once more. Jaded by the treatment she received from her peers, Bath left to work abroad in Europe where there was no “glass ceiling” mentality and continued to make innovations in laser eye surgery.

Bath holds four patents, three of those related to the Laserphaco. In 2000, she earned a patent for using ultrasound technology to treat cataracts. Another noteworthy moment in Bath’s life is the co-founding of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness in 1977. The organization, which began in Washington, D.C., still stands today and is currently based in California.

Bath retired from the UCLA Medical Center in 1993, but she was elevated to the role of honorary medical staff. She is also an advocate of telemedcine, a fast-growing practice of many doctors who support distance treatment.

Bath continues to lecture and travels the globe in her ongoing fight to combat blindness.

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Little Known Black History Fact: Patricia Bath  was originally published on

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