According to the World Health Organization, more than 2.2 billion people globally have a vision impairment. In at least 1 billion of these cases – almost half – vision impairment could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed.
For over 50 years, the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences has been a leader in the mission to improve vision-related quality of life for people locally and abroad. Our commitment to training the next generation of global leaders in saving sight is evident in our core resident curriculum. The department offers a formalized Global Ophthalmology curriculum for residents, which now includes global fieldwork in both India and the Philippines.
As part of this curriculum, senior residents have the opportunity to experience an intensive two-week clinical/surgical rotation at Dr. Shroff’s Charity Hospital (SCEH) in Delhi, India. At SCEH learners are exposed to clinical findings and surgical techniques rarely performed in the United States. In addition, residents engage in community outreach and discussions about global health care issues and solutions.
Senior residents Katherine Dalzotto, MD, Chintan Pathak, MD and William Van De Car, MD participated in the annual international rotation at SCEH from February 3-19, 2023. Alexander Miranda, MD, pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus service chief, and Jacob Evans, MD (resident, class of 2021) accompanied the learners on the rotation.
“The experience was both eye-opening and life changing for our residents,” Miranda said. “Not only did they have the opportunity to learn new skills and knowledge from the teams at Dr. Shroff’s, but they also experienced ophthalmology incorporated on a holistic and global scale. It was a taste of what they can accomplish as ophthalmologists when they are motivated to give back to the those with the most need.”
To prepare for this fieldwork, learners received hands-on preparatory training in the Global Fieldwork Simulation Wet Lab course designed by Jennifer Larson, MD.
“The extracapsular cataract surgery wet lab we offer is designed to teach residents the steps of removing an intact cataract lens through a large incision,” Larson said. “This procedure is important to learn for complicated and complex cataract surgeries. The goal of the wet lab to help residents feel comfortable with the steps of the procedure prior to them participating in similar cases in India.”
The department first partnered with SCEH to offer the rotation in 2015 and is excited to relaunch this wonderful experience following a two-year hiatus due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.