The Vit-Buckle Society is committed to supporting diversity in the field of surgical retina through the FOstering Careers for Underrepresented Stars (FOCUS) Program, which is designed to bolster the pipeline of people from backgrounds that are underrepresented in medicine. This includes medical students or ophthalmology residents interested in a career in surgical retina who identify as Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Southeast Asian (for example Cambodian, Laotian, Vietnamese, Hmong, Filipino) and individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Winners will receive waived registration, a shared hotel room for four nights (4/12-4/16) at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, and reimbursement for up to $500 in travel expenses to attend the 2023 VBS Annual Meeting April 13-15 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A full day of program content targeted to FOCUS participants will occur on April 13th, and participants are expected to stay for the duration of the meeting.

To be eligible, applicants must be actively enrolled medical students or ophthalmology residents with verification of status and approval to attend the meeting by their medical school dean or ophthalmology residency program director. Interested applicants must submit a brief CV summarizing their educational background and a no longer than 90 second audio statement addressing the following questions:

What do you hope to gain from the FOCUS program?
What is your vision of diversity, equity and inclusion for the field of retina?
How do you identify as underrepresented in medicine?

All audio content must be submitted in English no later than January 9th, 2023. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out at

Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf, Max. file size: 8 MB.
Max. file size: 8 MB.
No longer than 90 seconds
To be considered for application, you must agree to the above