January 2021

Did you know that when you look at the entire education career of a future ophthalmologist, they only spend about 12% of their time studying the eye? Starting from kindergarden it takes at least 25 years to become an ophthalmologist, but only the last 3 of those years are spent studying the eye. That means that to be an expert in eye disease and surgery a lot of learning has to be packed into a short amount of time.

In 2020 FOCUS had to do most of our teaching remotely. We knew that the residents couldn’t afford to lose a year of their training. A lot was accomplished in 2020 but with the availability of vaccines for COVID-19, we are excited to be able to travel in person to Haiti once again. FOCUS members Greg Nelson, Dan Alter, and Bill Myers spent the last week in Haiti working with the residency program.

The program recently graduated 4 ophthalmologists. That means that a new group of residents also just began their 3 year crash course in ophthalmology. They start out right away with learning how to do a specialized eye examination. They have a good understanding of general surgery from medical school but they have a lot to learn about the special techniques needed to perform microsurgery on the eye. We are excited for a busy year of teaching and learning!

Next week we also plan to visit the brand new eye clinic being started in St. Marc’s by two of the newest graduates, Dr. Louis and Dr. Desir. We are going to work to help them get established in an underserved area. This year is going to be great!

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