Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Mission Statement

The University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences is committed to providing the highest quality care to all patients, regardless of age, ethnicity, race, sex, religious background, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ability status. We specifically recognize that a major barrier to equitable healthcare for our patients is systemic and institutional racism.

We are actively working to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in our department, and the residents are central to this effort. As part of this undertaking, we endeavor to critically reflect on the structures and practices that have contributed to the under-representation of minority groups in ophthalmology. With these efforts we hope to inspire and normalize conversation to deconstruct our own implicit biases and raise awareness towards practices that potentially detract from patient health outcomes. 

Departmental Initiatives

The Committee for DEI is actively working towards an integrated anti-racism curriculum. This includes open and closed discussion forums among residents and faculty, guest lectures, a speaker series, and multimedia screenings. The development of these initiatives is ongoing. 

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has developed a DEI toolkit to assist residents and faculty in improving awareness. The Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring (MOM) program is a partnership between the AAO and Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology that serves to increase DEI in ophthalmology by connecting underrepresented students with mentorship, career planning, networking opportunities and educational resources. Several of the University of Iowa residents are mentors in this program. We are proud of our Department Chair, Dr. Keith Carter, who is the Chair of the MOM Executive Committee and who spearheaded this initiative. To learn more about the program, visit the MOM homepage or listen to a recent podcast with Dr. Carter.

Institutional Initiatives

The University of Iowa is committed to actively engaging in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

View the University wide anti-racism initiatives. Furthermore, the University of Iowa has developed the Anti-Racism Collaborative (ARC) and anyone is encouraged to participate in the ARC conversations. This includes both open forum discussions in addition to speaker series with special guests. View a list of upcoming events. More diversity-related resources can be found in the following links: 


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources

The DEI Committee has curated a listed of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources.

The C. S. O’Brien Eye Library hosts discussions on books, movies, lectures, and more that  feature stories about diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. All members of the Department of Ophthalmology are welcome to participate.

Diversity Visiting Student Scholarship

Diversity visiting scholarship graphic OphthalmologyDiversity Visiting Student Scholarship

We are pleased to announce the new Diversity Visiting Student Scholarship, which offers students from URiM backgrounds an opportunity to explore the field of ophthalmology. View more information on the scholarship.