Earlier this year, we asked you, our readers, for nominations for our inaugural 40 Under 40 list. The goal was to highlight the next generation of ophthalmology: 40 ophthalmologists under 40 years old who have achieved excellence in their field. You responded with more than 100 nominations, detailing the efforts by many young surgeons in research, innovation, leadership, teaching, entrepreneurship, academics, global health and more.
Our selection committee voted on the nominees and whittled down the list to our final 40, who are listed below. It was difficult for our selection committee to narrow down this list to only 40 names. But, this process ultimately reinforced the sheer number of exceptional talents within our industry.
The future is bright, and we look forward to seeing what these 40 ophthalmologists will accomplish throughout the rest of their careers. Ophthalmology is in good hands.
Dr. Baxter is an assistant professor of ophthalmology and biomedical informatics at the University of California San Diego. Her work concerns the intersection of ophthalmology and informatics, including the integration of health information technology and AI, big-data predictive analytics, digital health and health disparities. She is one of a handful of ophthalmologists nationwide with dual board certification in ophthalmology and clinical informatics, and she is the only ophthalmologist to have been awarded the prestigious NIH Office of the Director’s Early Independence Award. Her expertise has been recognized with invited lectures in national venues such as the Ophthalmic Artificial Intelligence Summit and the Prevent Blindness Summit. She was also appointed to the AAO Committee on Artificial Intelligence, is a member of the AAO Taskforce on Leveraging Data for Eyecare Disparities and is chair of the AAO Workgroup on Interoperability Standards for Workflow.
SECRETS TO SUCCESS TIP:
Remember that you don’t have to follow a traditional path or fit a particular mold. I heard a wide range of negative things throughout my medical training: “You can’t have kids during training.” “You won’t be able to match into ophthalmology and be in the same city as your spouse.” “You’ll have difficulty pursuing an academic career if you practice comprehensive ophthalmology.” Thankfully, I had a wonderful group of mentors, family and friends who supported me as I faced the challenges of balancing my career with being a mom of 3, coordinating with the needs of my physician spouse and pursuing my clinical and research interests even when I was not necessarily following the “traditional” or expected way of doing things. Find great mentors, follow your heart and your dreams, and do what you feel is best for yourself and your family. It’s important to remember that as you face the pressures of medical training. It’s your life to live!
—SALLY BAXTER, MD, MSC
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