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Become Who You Were Meant To Be

The Rabb-Venable Excellence in Ophthalmology Program supports medical students, residents, and fellows in ophthalmology who are underrepresented in medicine or who desire to work in underserved communities. We are committed to increasing diversity in eye care to better reflect the U.S. population.

Taliva Martin, MD

The Rabb-Venable Excellence in Ophthalmology Program provides travel grants to attend the Ophthalmology Section meeting at the National Medical Association Annual Assembly. Through our Pathway to Success program, we also offer guidance for applying to ophthalmology residency programs, information about research opportunities, and mentorship to participants. 


Our program is named in honor of Dr. Maurice Rabb, Jr. and Dr. Howard Phillip Venable, two pioneering African American ophthalmologists and researchers. Their desire to mentor the next generation of eye care specialists serves as our foundation – and a guidepost for our future.

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Annual Awards

Rabb-Venable award recipients and participants represent medical schools and ophthalmology residency programs from across the United States, as seen in our annual awards list.

Apply Today

Interested in participating in the Rabb-Venable Excellence in Ophthalmology Program? From application details to submission deadlines, we have answers to your questions.

We’re here to prepare you for a successful career. Our Pathway to Success program hosts multiple events, from Fireside Chats to interview skills sessions and panel discussions. 

Pathway to Success

Restoring vision, enhancing life.

Ophthalmology is a diverse field of medicine, with many subspecialties. It is an immensely satisfying profession, offering eye doctors the opportunity to make an immediate difference in the quality of a patient’s life.


If not now, then when?

In the United States, 6% of practicing ophthalmologists are underrepresented minorities, yet minority groups comprise 30% of the nation’s population. To help close this gap, the Rabb-Venable Excellence in Ophthalmology Program encourages and fosters interest in ophthalmology among underrepresented minority medical students, including those who are Black/African American, Latinx, and Native American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. The program is open to medical students and ophthalmology residents/fellows who have an interest in improving care in underserved communities.
Our commitment to diversity stems from a simple premise – we want to be reflected in the eyes of our patients and improve eye-related health outcomes. So, join us! Ophthalmology is an exciting field of medicine. Come help shape its future.
The Rabb-Venable Excellence in Ophthalmology Program is supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute. 
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