Esen Karamursel Akpek
The Power List 2021 – Power List
Professor of Ophthalmology and Rheumatology, Director, Ocular Surface Disease Clinic The Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Why is it important to celebrate women in ophthalmology?
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges data, in 2019, only 27 percent of all ophthalmologists in the US were women. The 2021 Women in Ophthalmology Power List will celebrate the 100 women physicians for their advanced clinical skills, innovative research discoveries, and visionary leadership. Such recognition is vital for continuing to recruit the next generation of women ophthalmologists.
What can be done to make the field more diverse?
As Audre Lorde said, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” Intentional efforts to increase diversity beyond gender are necessary for fostering innovation in medical and scientific advancements. Creating opportunities to connect and network with senior women leaders from diverse backgrounds is essential to attract young women ophthalmologists who identify as underrepresented minorities. We, listed in the 2021 Women in Ophthalmology Power List, should volunteer to bear the responsibility to accomplish this task.
What is your proudest professional achievement?
Being the first woman cornea surgeon rising to full professor status at the world-renowned Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, is my proudest professional achievement.
Outside of work, what makes you happy?
I greatly enjoy doing yoga, which helps me relax and focus at the same time. Yoga helps me clear my mind.