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. We are seeking motivated medical students, residents, and fellows who identify as underrepresented in medicine based upon race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, parental educational attainment, and/or socioeconomic status relative to their numbers in the general population. This includes (but is not all encompassing to) those who are Black or African American, Hispanic, Latino, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Southeast Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, or LGBTQIA+ community.

Winners will receive waived registration, a shared hotel room for four nights at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach Florida, and reimbursement for up to $500 in travel expenses to attend the 2024 VBS Annual Meeting April 4-6. A full day of program content targeted to FOCUS participants will occur April 4, 2024, 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 12/11/2023. 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