Black History Month: Doctor uses doubts of others to become one of best in country

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FAIRVIEW PARK, Ohio– This Black History Month we are shining a spotlight on African-Americans doing extraordinary things. In the Cleveland area you don’t have to search for long to find phenomenal achievements.

Look no further than ophthalmologist and retina specialist Dr. Joseph Coney with Retina Associates of Cleveland Inc. Dr. Coney may be the only African-American specialist in the state of Ohio.

“Definitely in the area and I believe in the state,” said Dr. Coney.

No one would know better than Dr. Coney, the soon to be president of The Ohio Ophthalmological Society.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Board of Ophthalmology tells Fox 8 they are not able to share if the doctor’s statement is true.

The Chicago-born doctor says success throughout his medical career was fueled in part due to the doubts of others, who did not believe in his potential.

“From high school to college I was told I would not do well on a big stage; I needed a smaller school,” said Dr. Coney. “From college I didn’t have what it took to get to medical school. When I was in medical school I didn’t have what it took to become an ophthalmologist. I didn’t have what it takes to be a retina specialist.”

Dr. Coney says all the criticism motivated him to excel. He studied at Case Western Reserve University then Harvard.

The hard work paid off. Dr. Coney was recently named one of the best in the country in his field by Castle Connolly.

This Black History Month we celebrate Dr. Coney, his achievements in medicine and look forward to telling new stories of African-Americans doing remarkable things.

More stories on Black History Month.

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