PAAO President’s Message

April 2022

Paulo E.C. Dantas, MD PhD
PAAO President, 2022-2025

Dear Pan-American friends,

I am happy, honored, and thrilled to address you with my first words as president of the PAAO. For me, it is a dream fulfilled.

As you may know, I was born in the north of Brazil, coming from a middle-class family with limited financial resources. To keep the well-being of a family of 10 people, my parents worked hard their whole life. My mom was a nurse, and my father was a ship captain, guiding large ships over the dangerous sandbars at the mouth of rivers and bays in the Amazon River and its tributaries.

The principal investment they made in us was education. They supported and provided all opportunities related to our education, even with their scarce financial resources. This gave us the tools to look for opportunities, face our challenges, and build our own history.

With education, we discovered opportunities amidst adversity, and we learned from our failures.  We celebrated our successes, embraced our changes, and demonstrated that our resolve and strength were stronger than our struggles. We learn how to cultivate humility and gratitude.

For these reasons, I am a strong advocate of providing educational opportunities to our members, particularly to young people from underserved regions.  Education is PAAO’s primary mission, and I will ensure that we continue to follow this path. I hope I can count on you to help me out on this mission, and I thank you all in advance for that.

Looking at the history of PAAO, I come across pioneers, the true giants in the world of ophthalmology. Our leadership is more critical than ever during these tumultuous times. I will mirror all the good lessons learned from my predecessors to keep our Association alive and to serve as an active protagonist in the ophthalmological scenario.

Thank you for your confidence and support, and I look forward to seeing you in Chicago, Illinois, USA, where we will be meeting in conjunction with the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Annual Meeting.

I hope to see you at our Joint Meeting in Miami with the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, October 16-19, 2022, for our first post-pandemic physical meeting.


Paulo E.C. Dantas, MD PhD
PAAO President