Terri L. Young, MD, MBA has devoted her career to advancing the voices of women and underserved minorities in the field of ophthalmology. She was honored for this work by the Women in Ophthalmology (WIO) at a special award ceremony during the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) annual meeting in Chicago on October 1.
Dr. Young, Chair of the University of Wisconsin Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, received the Suzanne Véronneau-Troutman Award, which recognizes a female ophthalmologist who has been a champion for women in the ophthalmology field within the previous year.
Dr. Young recently completed an appointment as the chair of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) task force of the 32,000-member AAO, which assessed and changed membership demographics in all aspects of the organization – staff hiring and retention, contract relationships, committee membership, committee leadership composition, and methodology for how these positions are attained. The AAO recently sent out a new survey requesting extensive demographic background data of its members as a result of the task force recommendations. Also because of the taskforce’s effort, the AAO now has a standing bookmark on their website for DEI educational materials and tools.
In addition to her work on the task force, Dr. Young also served as the new chair of the Compensation Survey Committee of the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO). Dr. Young lead efforts by partnering with Sullivan-Cotter to augment and modify the bi-annual AUPO survey questions sent to all academic ophthalmology departments to determine current benchmarks for sub-specialty salary thresholds nationally. The survey now requests demographic data of gender, race/ethnicity, and years after residency training. Not only did this effort reveal compensation inequities by gender but exposed that these inequities begin at the very onset of one’s career as a new assistant professor or instructor. Dr. Young presented this data at the national AUPO meeting in January 2022.
“Dr. Young’s ability to impart knowledge and serve as a role model is notable and marked by her uncommon graciousness, intellectual curiosity, and analytical clarity,” wrote Natalie Afshari, M.D., Shiley Eye Institute, University of San Diego. Her academic contributions are noteworthy for their breadth, diversity, and exceptional quality…. I have been personally mentored and sponsored by Dr. Young in every stage of my career.”