Explore Our Global Initiatives

Global Ophthalmology

Our Framework

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Our Framework

With established partnerships in Brazil, India, and the Philippines, GOI strives to build capacity for UW and its global learners (including medical students, residents, clinical fellows), faculty, and staff to share in meaningful bilateral exchanges. The UW GOI framework aims to understand its role in enhancing inclusive systems-based practices and creating new pathways for its constituents to cultivate emerging knowledge in the field of ophthalmology and visual sciences. We are dedicated to understanding our program’s impact and advancing the ophthalmology goals outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

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Educational Programs

According to the WHO, “Globally, at least 2.2 billion people have a near or distance vision impairment. In at least 1 billion – or almost half – of these cases, vision impairment could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed.” In effort to address the global vision challenges, GOI supports various learning activities for our department and global partner’s faculty, staff, learners (medical students, residents, clinical fellows), and alumni. We aim is to educate these learners and faculty through lectures, seminars, hands-on simulation, local (stateside) and global fieldwork (rotations abroad) opportunities for these constituents. These experiences directly affect our Wisconsin healthcare system by exposing professionals to diverse patient populations, differing medical systems and diseases, cultural differences, and innovative community outreach programming. By working with outreach sites and stakeholders in the Madison region, distinctive populations within our Plain Community Outreach Clinic, Department of Corrections Clinic, Veterans Hospital, Madison Bi-monthly Community Clinic and Annual World Sight Day Clinic and beyond gain access to equitable care and offer our learning community exposure to under-served patients. The patients often come from diverse linguistic, socioeconomic, cultural, and knowledge backgrounds. Accompanying local and regional fieldwork, learners are encouraged to participate in global fieldwork experiences at partner sites in India and the Philippines. Financial support is available in part by an Unrestricted Grant from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc. to the UW-Madison Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences for learners, faculty, and alumni to engage in these programs in addition to the generous support by donors to the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation. Interested in supporting these programs? Please visit our giving page.

UW Residency GO Curriculum
During training, residents can expand their core competencies by participating in a hybrid, module-based academic global ophthalmology curriculum. Available to all UW residents, this program is integrated into the UW Ophthalmology Residency curriculum and is unique to UW and residency programs across the United States. Content is informed by the ACGME core competencies and American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) efforts to expand pathways for academic global ophthalmology learning. Residents complete a series of self-directed assignments and reflective discussions based on their exploratory learning experiences that conclude with a completion certificate. With the goal of supporting the next cohort of globally minded and action-oriented ophthalmologists, this course offers residents a forum to prepare to practice as professionals in delivering services to save sight in the ever-changing world.

Non-UW Resident GO Course (Fee-Basis)
Offered through the UW Division of Continuing Studies, this course supports U.S. residency training programs by providing residents access to academic global ophthalmology coursework. Attuned to the UW Residency GO Curriculum, residents complete a series of self-directed assignments and reflective discussions based on their own program’s exploratory learning experiences that conclude with a completion certificate. Fieldwork and hands-on experiences vary based on their residency program offerings. Interested residents can review the course overview.

Registration Fee: $150
Registration Portal
Contact: Hannah Baker

Research and Clinical Observership Program
Annually, GOI offers a 5-week research rotation and clinical observership to an excelling global resident at one of our established partner institutions under the supervision and mentorship of a UW clinical research faculty. This research collaboration provides training through the DOVS Clinical Eye Research Unit (CERU) and offers the opportunity for the resident to be a listed author, resulting in publications. In addition, resident time is spent in didactics including subspecialty journal clubs, basic sciences lectures, wet labs, case review conferences and more. Interested how to implement this type of program at your institution? Review Dr. Yasmin Bradfield presenting at this program via the 2023 GO Summit (27:00 minutes).

UW Clinical Fellows
Clinical fellows (clinical instructors) who are training under our AUPO FCC accredited fellowship programs can engage in local and global fieldwork including short-term rotations at our partner sites and global-based simulations hosted by UW faculty. Clinical fellows often engaged in one-week of global fieldwork due to programmatic requirements.  Supportive funds are available for participation in these opportunities and encouraged based on fellow interest.

Faculty are encouraged to engage with local and global outreach opportunities as a part of their contributions to the DOVS mission and advancement of their professional development.

DOVS has established funds to support alumni participation and teaching of learners on rotations in India and the Philippines. Alumni are appointed clinical adjunct assistant professor positions for the duration of their contributions. Interested alumni can express interest in future rotations by contacting Hannah Baker.

Visiting and Clinical Observerships
Short-term opportunities for physician and non-physician observerships are limited due to clinical capacity among other learners including medical students, residents, and clinical fellows and currently reserved for DOVS established global partners when available. Interested learners or faculty must identify a DOVS faculty sponsor prior to submitting a formal request through the GOI Committee. For more information, please contact Hannah Baker.

Programs Open to the Global Community

DOVS is committed to the accessibility of learning opportunities for its global partners and has virtually adapted educational programs and topics for our colleagues outside of the U.S. We dedicate 2-3 Grand Rounds per year to topics on global ophthalmology and members of partnering institutions are invited to present as well as a biennial de Venecia Memorial Lectureship opportunity (more information below on these activities). In recent years, DOVS has seen an increase in UW faculty and learners’ engagement in global webinars, conferences, and presentations. Interested in access to DOVS Grand Rounds? Contact DOVS Education at education@ophth.wisc.edu to be added to our weekly virtual meeting contact list.

De Venecia Memorial Lecture
The de Venecia Memorial Lecture is a biennial lectureship supported by the Guillermo and Marta de Venecia Fund. Topics for this lecture alternate on topics of ocular pathology, and global ophthalmology and ocular health. Learn more about Dr. Guillermo de Venecia’s historic contributions to the Philippines and our DOVS.

Past Lectures include:

    • 2023 – Dr. Bernardita Navarro, MD, MBA-Ent, Medical Director, Tzu Chi Medical Foundation Philippines Inc., Buddhist Tzu Chi Eye Center, Cornea, External Disease & Refractive Surgery Fellow Alumni ’95, “Footprints of Compassion.”
    • 2021 – Dr. Catherine Macaraig, MD, University of Santo Tomas, Philippines, Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Fellow Alumni ’94, “Challenges in the Management of Pediatric Eye Disease in the Philippines.
    • 2017 – Dr. Antonio Say, MD, MPHED, President, Tzu Chi Medical Foundation Philippines Inc., Buddhist Tzu Chi Eye Center, Philippines, “Phacoemulsification for Brunescent Cataract in a Rural Community Setting: A 20-Year Experience.”

Global Ophthalmology (GO) Grand Rounds
These dedicated GO conferences discuss critical emerging trends and challenges faced by global ophthalmology’s subspecialty care and research. Topics include but are not limited to disparities in ocular health, health equity, ocular pathology, compassion care models, sustainability and systems-based approaches, global health education, vital clinical, surgical and research pearls from alternative healthcare systems, conclusions from global multicenter studies on varying topics, reflections from fieldwork experiences by participating faculty and learners, alongside other related educational topics in diversity, equity, and inclusion. For access to the lectures, please contact the Education Team.

Past and Upcoming Lectures include:

Research Collaborations

We encourage research collaborations with international partners, as opportunities to make contributions to basic science, translational and clinical research internationally. International clinicians benefit from working with our strong clinical research faculty, excellent Clinical Eye Research Unit (CERU), and outstanding basic science faculty. Our international research collaborations provide opportunities for expansive mentoring and networking. Annually, we partner with the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), to support a Filipino ophthalmologist attendance at the annual meeting as a part of the Developing Country Eye Researcher Travel Fellowship (DCERF) program, sponsored by the Marta and Guillermo de Venecia Fund.

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