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Richard L. Abbott, M.D., Honored at World Ophthalmology Conference

-- American Academy of Ophthalmology Secretary for Global Alliances Receives Duke Elder Medal for Outstanding Contributions to International Eye Care

SAN FRANCISCO, April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Richard L. Abbott, M.D., secretary for Global Alliances for the American Academy of Ophthalmology – the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons – today received the 2014 International Duke Elder Medal at the opening ceremony of the World Ophthalmology Conference in Tokyo.

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The Duke Elder Medal is awarded every four years by the International Council of Ophthalmology to an ophthalmologist who – by his or her distinction, leadership, and teaching – has contributed significantly to the development of international relations and friendship between ophthalmologists. The award also recognizes ophthalmologists who have advanced the field through contributions in writing and organization in ophthalmology. Dr. Abbott will deliver the Duke Elder Oration at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Annual Congress on May 21 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Dr. Abbott specializes in treatment of corneal and external diseases of the eye and is recognized internationally for leadership in the creation and implementation of clinical practice guidelines, development of cognitive knowledge modules and ethics regarding eye care and eye surgery. In addition to his role as a clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of California San Francisco and research associate at the Francis I. Proctor Foundation, Dr. Abbott serves as the chairman of the International Council of Ophthalmology Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee.

After serving as President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2011, Dr. Abbott was appointed to his current role as secretary for the Academy's Global Alliances program. In this capacity, Dr. Abbott travels throughout the world meeting with fellow ophthalmologists, working to make the Academy's vast array of print and online educational materials accessible and relevant for ophthalmologists outside of the United States.  

"We're seeing an increased demand for eye care worldwide," said Dr. Abbott. "The key to overcoming the challenges of an aging global population is by sharing our education and training with our international colleagues, especially those who are located in countries where these resources are scarce."

Dr. Abbott has received numerous honors and awards throughout his career, including the U.S. President's 25 year Volunteer Service Award; the International Golden Service Award from the Chinese Academy of Ophthalmology; the Jose Rizal Medal for International Service to the Asia Pacific region from the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology; the AE Maumenee Pan American Medal for Distinguished Service to Latin America from the Pan American Association of Ophthalmology; the Asia Pacific Cornea Foundation Medal from the Asia Pacific Cornea Society; and the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2008, he was elected as a lifetime member of Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis and in 2009 was appointed adjunct professor of ophthalmology in the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

He is a member of the American Ophthalmological Society and is listed in Who's Who in America and the World, as well as Best Doctors in America. He has authored or co-authored more than 90 peer reviewed publications and 32 book chapters and has delivered more than 700 invited lectures and 27 named lectures. Dr. Abbott received his medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine and his ophthalmology residency training at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. He also obtained a fellowship in corneal and external diseases at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami.

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons — Eye M.D.s — with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who has the education and training to treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit The Academy's EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit or to learn more.

The Academy's Global Alliances program provides a wealth of resources for ophthalmologists outside of the United States, including:

  • The Academy's ONE® Network, the largest online source for ophthalmic peer-reviewed news and education, visited each month by over 30,000 people from across the globe. The ONE Network is an online comprehensive educational resource for ophthalmologists around the world.
  • The Academy's Resident Hub, an online learning tool designed to help educate ophthalmology residents through videos, courses and self-assessment exams
  • The Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP) International, an exam for ophthalmology residents around the world
  • The Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC), the premier resource for ophthalmic resident training in the United States and Europe, and a key clinical reference for practicing ophthalmologists worldwide.
  • The Global Ophthalmology (GO) Guide, an open-access resource for region-based treatment and management information on a variety of topics and diseases in underserved and low-resource environments

For more information, visit


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