Dr. Munn received his undergraduate training in chemistry and his M.D. at UNC Chapel Hill, after which he completed a residency in Internal Medicine at New Hanover Memorial Hospital in Wilmington, North Carolina. From 1986 to 1989 he was an ophthalmology resident at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and in 1989 came back to North Carolina where he practiced with Raleigh Ophthalmology and Surgical Eye Associates. He established the Wake Medical Center Ophthalmology Clinic in 1992. In 1995, he formed Capital Eye Center.
As a former Trustee for the North Carolina Prevent Blindness Foundation, Dr. Munn is involved with several other community service projects. He donates time and equipment for projects that include Eye Care America volunteer, screening migrant workers for correctable vision problems and participating in annual glaucoma screenings in Raleigh. He also donates stipends from his continuing lecture series on diabetes, glaucoma, and eye diseases to the Prevent Blindness North Carolina Foundation, and serves the state legislature and the North Carolina Medical Society as “Doctor of the Day.”
In addition to being a recipient of the AMA Community Service Award, Dr. Munn received the Physician’s Recognition Award in 1990 and 1995. In response to this recognition, particularly his most recent award, he said, “It was unexpected to receive this attention. I hope it raises awareness of physicians’ commitment to community and the work they have always done in providing services to the poor.” The goal of raising the public’s awareness about community involvement by practicing physicians is one intent of the Community Service Award established by the AMA Young Physicians Section.
The series of community projects established by Dr. Albert Munn, III has attracted statewide and national attention for both him and his colleagues. His medical associates have commented that such commitment seems more typical of the “old-time family doctor.” Indeed, in all occupations today, not only medical practice, it is rare to see this level of kindness, generosity, and compassion extended without some type of tangible or financial reward. Recently, Dr. Munn was quoted as saying, “Simple, voluntary acts of kindness and charity are repaid ten times over, usually in unpredictable ways.” He continues, “I was fortunate to find people at Wake Medical Center, GSK, Durham Technical College, and Prevent Blindness North Carolina who still believe in this.” Together, Dr. Munn believes, the synergy created by these groups allowed them to accomplish more than anyone could have imagined. This collaborative effort has resulted in medical care and services for many patients who otherwise would have gone untreated. In many instances, it has given patients the gift of sight, which may not have been possible without the work of Dr. Albert Munn, III and his colleagues.
AMA Hero of Medicine
‘Simple, voluntary acts of kindness’
The poor and uninsured in Wake County, N.C., have a clearer view of the future thanks to ophthalmologist Albert Munn III, MD.
Dr. Munn established the only indigent-focused ophthalmology clinic in North Carolina. The clinic concentrates on the poor and uninsured with diabetes- and AIDS-related problems, but no one is turned away, regardless of ability to pay.
“Simple, voluntary acts of kindness and charity are repaid ten times over, usually in unpredictable ways,” Dr. Munn said.
Dr.Munn arranged for Wake Medical Center to provide space, equipment, financial support and nursing staff for the clinic. He established a liaison between Durham Technical College Opticians School, GSK and the Wake County Medical Free Clinic to supply glasses free of charge to the clinic’s patients.
Dr. Munn also recruited his colleagues to participate in the clinic, and has paid his patients’ out-of-pocket expenses without reimbursement for laser treatments for diabetic retinopathy.
“Working together, we accomplished more than we imagined possible,” Dr. Munn said.
Dr. Munn received the 1995 AMA Young Physician Section Community Service Award.