Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Message from our Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

Dear all,

Never has there been a time when we have been asked to question so deeply who we are at our core and how we wish to weave our life stories, our humanity, our morality, our very essence into the fabric of the community we wish to build.  The COVID pandemic has served to highlight the racial, ethnic, gender, and socio-economic disparities and tensions that plague our global family.  The persistent violence against our Black/ African American communities and the rising hate crimes against our Asian/ Asian American and Asian Pacific Islander communities weigh heavily on us as we try to move past this year of grief, but we will not be razed to the ground as a society.  Now, more than ever, we look to our academic communities in the sciences and humanities to provide the data and the resources we need to rise together.  

It is in this spirit, we call to action the reaffirmation and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion in the fabric we are weaving at Stanford Ophthalmology, Stanford Medical School and Stanford Hospital and Clinics.

We DO NOT discriminate on the basis of differences in age, ability, gender identity and expression, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, religion, immigration status, sexual orientation.  We promote and seek to attract and educate trainees, faculty, and staff who will make the population of health care professionals representative of the national population and diversify the healthcare workforce.

We are broad in our diversity, but we are beautifully defined in our unity.  We must celebrate the undeniable fact that the power of each of our life threads weaves strength into the fabric of our community.

Our department supports AUPO and AAMC in our uniform mission to educate our trainees, care for our patients, and lead in research efforts to eliminate systemic racism and health care disparities in our academic communities.

Ann Caroline Fisher, MD
Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
Office of Faculty Development and Diversity (OFDD) Liaison

The OFDD Liaisons are appointed by School of Medicine Clinical Department Chairs to serve as departmental representatives that liaise between the Chairs, members of their specific department, and the OFDD to assist with faculty concerns, ideas, and the advancement of excellence at Stanford School of Medicine. Dr. Fisher works directly with our Chair, Dr. Jeffrey Goldberg, to enhance faculty development and leadership in the department, at Stanford University, and around the world. We have faculty participating in the Early Career AAMC Women's forum leadership training, K08 grant-writing workshops, and other venues. We host regular Grand rounds for faculty and staff on topics such as diversity, community, and unconscious bias. We hold ourselves to the highest standards when it comes to creating a healthy, inclusive, and supportive culture. Our department regularly reviews a diversity dashboard, and ensures our search committees—from resident to faculty searches—review best practices for recruitment and retention of faculty. For our department, diversity drives excellence.

Photos from a recent meeting for CODE-I:
Committee on Ophthalmology Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

The Byers Eye Institute at Stanford congratulates Steven Sanislo, MD, clinical professor of ophthalmology and an accomplished vitreoretinal surgeon, on his interview in Retina Today, focused on LGBTQ+ retina physicians’ experiences and observations over the years. Dr. Sanislo’s reflections are a warm reminder of this department’s and this community’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

OFDD Liaison 
Ann Caroline Fisher, MD
Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

Read statements from our leading academic organizations:

Resident Engagement in DEI

The Stanford Medicine LEAD Program is a 10-month longitudinal leadership program for residents and fellows across GME to develop leadership and scholarship skills in addressing issues related to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), to produce leaders in academic medicine dedicated to EDI, and to improve the culture of medicine. Two of our residents have participated in LEAD: Cassie Ann Ludwig, MD, MS (’20) and Connie Sears, MD (’22).

Cassie Ludwig, MD, MS

"The LEAD program re-framed how I think about my future role in medicine – not just as a clinician-educator and researcher but as someone with the power to advance equity and inclusion in my field. Each meeting provided an opportunity to think critically about the strengths and weaknesses related to diversity and inclusion within our department and institution and to consider action plans for repair. LEAD inspired me to be proactive about both promoting and retaining diversity and equity through intentional changes in our work environment."
- Cassie

Connie Sears, MD

Diversity in Ophthalmology

A study published in Ophthalmology demonstrated representation of URM’s in the different medical specialties. The study used data from American Association of Medical Colleges and revealed that within academic institutions in ophthalmology, 7.5% of clinical chairs were URM, and only 6.8% of ophthalmology faculty were URM. The full study can be viewed at: Fairless EA, Nwanyanwu KH, Forster SH, Teng CC, Ophthalmology Departments Remain Among the Least Diverse Clinical Departments at US Medical Schools, Ophthalmology (2021), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2021.01.006.

We acknowledge that these numbers clearly indicate a disparity, and we are committed to building a community that is more representative of our global community.

First graduating class of all women!

Class of 2020 Residents (left to right): Angelica Ortiz, MD, Arthika Chandramohan, MD, Cassie Ann Ludwig, MD, MS, and Luo Luo Zheng, MD.

Other Resident Highlights

Giancarlo Garcia, MD, presents at ASOPRS on "Ocular and Orbital Toxicity from External-Beam Radiation Therapy."

Cassie Ann Ludwig, MD, MS, presents research on "Paracentral Acute Middle Maculopathy Associated with Anti-Phospholipid Syndrome."

Luo Luo Zheng, MD, presents research on "Dome-Shaped Maculopathy."

Angelica Ortiz, MD, presents research on "Tubulointerstitial Nephritis and Uveitis Syndrome with Associated Retinal Vasculitis."

Residency Program Director

Suzann Pershing, MD

Department Research & Discourse on Healthcare Disparities & DEI

Rajeshuni N, Whittemore AS, Ludwig CA, Mruthyunjaya P, Moshfeghi DM. Racial, Ethnic, and Socioeconomic Disparities in Retinoblastoma Enucleation: A Population-Based Study, SEER 18 2000-2014. Am J Ophthalmol. 2019 Nov;207:215-223. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2019.04.015. Epub 2019 May 9. PMID: 31077666.

Evaluation of Racial, Ethnic, and Socioeconomic Associations With Treatment and Survival in Uveal Melanoma, 2004-2014

Rajeshuni N, Zubair T, Ludwig CA, Moshfeghi DM, Mruthyunjaya P. Evaluation of Racial, Ethnic, and Socioeconomic Associations With Treatment and Survival in Uveal Melanoma, 2004-2014. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2020;138(8):876–884. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.2254

Association of Visual Impairment With Risk of Incident Dementia in a Women’s Health Initiative Population

Tran EM, Stefanick ML, Henderson VW, et al. Association of Visual Impairment With Risk of Incident Dementia in a Women’s Health Initiative Population. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2020;138(6):624–633. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.0959

Progress Towards Parity Female Representation in the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Azad, Amee D. B.A.*; Rosenblatt, Tatiana R. B.A.*; Chandramohan, Arthika M.D., M.P.H.*; Fountain, Tamara R. M.D.†; Kossler, Andrea L. M.D.* Progress Towards Parity, Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: July 13, 2020 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - doi: 10.1097/IOP.0000000000001764

Sex Differences in the Repair of Retinal Detachments in the United States

Callaway, Natalia & Vail, Daniel & Al-Moujahed, Ahmad & Ludwig, Cassie & Ji, Marco & Mahajan, Vinit & Pershing, Suzann & Moshfeghi, Darius. (2020). Sex Differences in the Repair of Retinal Detachments in the United States. American Journal of Ophthalmology. 219. 10.1016/j.ajo.2020.06.039.

Nonmydriatic Photographic Screening for Diabetic Retinopathy in Pregnant Patients with Pre-Existing Diabetes in a Safety Net Population: 1 Year Results from the Diabetic Retinopathy in Pregnant Patients Study

Malini Veerappan Pasricha, Jodi So, David Myung, Andrea Jelks, and Carolyn K. Pan.Women's Health Reports.Oct 2020.436-443.http://doi.org/10.1089/whr.2020.0082

The Current State of Women in Ophthalmology

(left to right) Arthika Chandramohan, MD, and Andrea Kossler, MD, FACS, pose for a photo. Chandramohan presented research on "The Current State of Women in Ophthalmology."

A Question of Color: Understanding Racial Injustice, Healthcare Disparities, and Glaucoma

The first session in a two-part webinar series tackling social injustice and healthcare disparities.

The second session in a two-part webinar series tackling social injustice and healthcare disparities.

SCORE: Building the Future Pipeline into Residency

In partnership with the Stanford Clinical Opportunity for Residency Experience (SCORE), the funded visiting ophthalmology clerkship program is designed to give students a chance to experience the exceptional training that Stanford Ophthalmology has to offer. It also provides Stanford ophthalmology residents and faculty a chance to form a close working relationship with each student.

Women in Ophthalmology

Working with our Department Chair, Dr. Goldberg, Dr. Kossler and Dr. Carolyn Pan have provided numerous events for residents and faculty such as panels on career development and career choices in ophthalmology, as well as working sessions to review and build CVs with our residents and faculty.

WIO Photo Highlights

Andrea Kossler, MD, (3rd from right) receives the Mentorship Award at the annual WIO Symposium in San Diego, CA in summer of 2017. Read more here

WIO 2019

Front Row (left to right): Shannon Beres, MD, Arthika Chandramohan, MD, Luo Luo Zheng, MD, and Angelica Ortiz, MD

Back Row (left to right): Andrea Kossler, MD, FACS, Artis Montague, MD, PhD, Heather Moss, MD, PhD, Carolyn Pan, MD, and Irma Muminovic, MD


EnVision Summit: "Empowering Women"- Puerto Rico

Andrea Kossler, MD, FACS, presents at the EnVision Summit.

Deborah Alcorn, MD, presents at the EnVision Summit.

NANOS Women in Neuro-Ophthalmology Committee

NANOS 2020 Women in Neuro-Ophthalmology Committee, Heather Moss, MD, PhD (3rd from right).

(left to right): Heather Moss, MD, PhD, Shannon Beres, MD, and Lakshmi Leishangthem, MD

Joyce Liao, MD, PhD, presenting remotely at NANOS 2020

Department Contacts:  

Andrea Kossler, MD

Carolyn Pan, MD

OFDD Community Support Initiative

Resources and Organizational Links

Message on Recent Asian/AAPI hate crimes

We have been grieving the senseless murder of George Floyd for less than one year, and now we find ourselves, once again, suffering the pain and senseless murder of 6 members of our Asian/ Asian American/ Asian Pacific Islander communities.  There is no space for hate or hate crimes in our family here at Byers and our larger Stanford community.  While our hearts continue to mourn ALL the violence against our Black/ African American communities and our Asian/AAPI communities, we condemn racism in all of its ugly affronts to humanity.  We stand in solidarity with our diverse family here at Stanford.  I leave you with an excerpt from MLKs “I Have a Dream Speech” from 1963.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.  Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
August 28, 1963

Stand Against Racism 
Stop Asian Hate 
Black Lives Matter

In solidarity,
Caroline Fisher


OFDD Resources 

Care and Healing
Faculty Staff Help Center - Professional counseling for individuals, couples and families to address both work and personal issues, 10 free sessions per topic, https://cardinalatwork.stanford.edu/faculty-staff-help-center
· WellConnect - Confidential mental health referral and consultation. Covers all faculty. Available 24/7 and can be reached at (650) 724-1395 or wellconnect@stanford.edu, More information can be found at https://med.stanford.edu/psychiatry/special-initiatives/wellconnect.html
· Physician Support Network (PRN) - Confidential conversation with a trained colleague, https://wellmd.stanford.edu/get-help/prn-support.html
· Off-campus Support: APISSA Therapist Directory from Asian Mental Health Collective.
· Online: 13 Mental Health & Wellness Resources For Asian-American Communities.

Education & Reporting 
Stanford Student Affairs has compiled resources on Harassment & Hate Towards Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders during COVID-19, including how to report harassment or a hate crime on-campus across faculty students and staff, and nationally. 
· The Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) has compiled COVID-19 resources to stand against racism
· If you or someone you know experiences an anti-Asian attack, report it:
    - On campus:  Acts of Intolerance
    - Off campus: stopaapihate.org
· Identify and understand the characteristics of white supremacy culture.
· Compiled Anti-Asian Violence Resources (sent by Liaison Caroline Fisher)

Additional Solidarity Steps 
Donate to the Oakland Chinatown Ambassador & Victims Fund for people impacted by recent attacks.
· Volunteer to be a chaperone for elderly Asian people or be a part of a community stroll patrol in Oakland.
· Review this list of 61 Ways to Donate in Support of Asian Communities.
· Attend the “Stand Up for Asians” AAPI Solidarity #JusticeForVicha Rally on 3/22/21 – 850 Bryant St. San Francisco – 8:30a – Noon.
Attend this screening of “Boogie” on 3/25, 7 PM.  

Awareness Calendar


  • MLK Day 
  • Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month 
  • International Holocaust Remembrance Day 
  • Poverty in America Awareness Month 


  • National Freedom Day 
  • African American History Month 
  • National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 
  • International Day of Women and Girls in Science 
  • Random Act of Kindness Day 


  • Women’s History Month 
  • National Day of Unplugging 
  • International Women's Day 
  • World Down Syndrome Day 
  • Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month 


  • Arab American History Month 
  • National Deaf History Month 
  • National Student-Athlete Day 
  • Day of Silence 
  • RAINN Day 
  • Earth Day 
  • International Guide Dog Day 
  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month 
  • Stress Awareness Month 
  • Alcohol Awareness Month            
  • Autism Awareness Month 
  • Parkinson's Awareness Month 


  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 
  • Mental Health Awareness Month 
  • National Honor Our LGBT Elders Day 
  • Harvey Milk Day 
  • National Teen Self-Esteem Month 
  • National Women's Health Week 
  • Lupus Awareness Month 
  • Arthritis Awareness Month 
  • Fibromyalgia Awareness Month 


  • LGBTQ Pride Month 
  • World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 
  • Juneteenth 
  • World Refugee Day 
  • Black Lives Matter Month 
  • National Men's Health Month 
  • National Men's Health Week 


  • World Population Day 
  • Nelson Mandela International Day 


  • National Women's Day 
  • International Youth Day 
  • World Humanitarian Day 
  • National Senior Citizens Day 
  • Women’s Equality Day 
  • National Minority Donor Awareness Day 


  • Hispanic Heritage Month 
  • Constitution Day (Sept. 17) 
  • World Suicide Prevention Day 
  • National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day 
  • ​National Voter Registration Day 
  • Self Improvement Month 
  • World Alzheimer's Month 


  • National Disability Employment Month 
  • International Day of Non-Violence 
  • National Plus Size Appreciation Day 
  • World Cerebral Palsy Day 
  • World Mental Health Day 
  • National Coming Out Day 
  • National Latino AIDS Awareness Day 
  • National New Friends Day 
  • International Stuttering Awareness Day 
  • National Immigrants Day 
  • AIDS Awareness Month 
  • Blindness Awareness Month 
  • Down Syndrome Awareness Month 
  • Emotional Wellness Month 
  • ​Global Diversity Awareness Month 
  • National ADHD Awareness Month 
  • ​National Bullying Prevention Month 
  • National Critical Illness Awareness Month 
  • National Depression Education and Awareness Month 
  • ​Active Aging Week 
  • National Diabetes Month 
  • LGBT History Month 


  • American Indian Heritage Month 
  • Veterans Day 
  • World Kindness Day 
  • World Diabetes Day 
  • International Day For Tolerance 
  • International Men’s Day 
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance 
  • International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 
  • National Alzheimer's Disease Month 
  • National Epilepsy Awareness Month 


  • Universal Human Rights Month 
  • Human Rights Day (Dec. 10) 
  • World AIDS Day 
  • Giving Tuesday 
  • National Disability Day 
  • ​National Short Person Day 

Upcoming Events

· American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring for Students - The application for the Class of 2021 will open in November 2020.