SAN FRANCISCO – Richard L. Abbott, MD became the new president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology on January 1, 2011, taking over from departing President Randy Johnston, MD. Dr. Abbott currently serves as 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.
“Ophthalmology is flourishing, and we are facing more opportunities and challenges than ever before,” said Dr. Abbott. "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 Academy. He most recently was a member of the Academy's Committee of Secretaries, holding the position of secretary for quality care and knowledge base development from 2002 to 2008. He has served in several leadership positions since 1981, including secretary for quality of care (1994) and a member of the Academy’s Board of Trustees as senior secretary for ophthalmic practice (1996 to 2001). In 2009 and 2010, he served as chairman of the board of OMIC (Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company). In 2006, Dr. Abbott received the Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2008 he was elected into Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis.
“We are pleased to have Dr. Abbott provide his leadership throughout 2011,” said David W. Parke II, MD, CEO of the Academy. “In addition to his recognized clinical and academic expertise, Dr. Abbott possesses special interest in international ophthalmology and in the quality of care arena.”
Dr. Abbott received his medical doctorate in 1971 from the George Washington University School of Medicine. After completing his internship at Los Angeles County Hospital, he spent two 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.