Even before medical school, Dr. John Anhalt knew he wanted to serve communities all over the globe—after college, he joined the Peace Corps for two years, teaching math and science in the Kingdom of Lesotho. After seeing the vast differences between the health care in Lesotho and in the United States, Dr. Anhalt was inspired to apply to medical school with the intention of pursing a specialty in infectious disease before launching a career in global medicine. It was not until his ophthalmology rotation in University of Texas San Antonio, that he realized that ophthalmology, with its mix of medical and surgical management, would be a perfect fit for his car eer aspirations.

Cataracts, though reversible, were— and still are—the leading cause of blindness in the developing world. From a global health perspective, cataract surgery has a substantial impact on individuals’ quality of life and life expectancy. Furthermore, cataract surgery has permeating economic implications as it not only mobilizes a population who would otherwise be unable to care for themselves due to blindness but also allows their overburdened caretakers the freedom to finish schooling, find work, or take care of other family needs. After Dr. Anhalt finished his residency at Wills Eye, he began his global health career starting with the one-year Wills Academic Global Ophthalmology Fellowship.

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